Warning: October 1st 2018 Mandatory Landlord HMO Licence

Date Published 08 June 2018

As usual with any Governmental regulatory changes to the private rented section there was always an early proclamation beforehand. In the beginning of March it was announced as of October 1st 2018 there will be new regulations for the licensing of HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation).

From October 1st, 2018, there will be a broadening of the requirements for compulsory HMO licensing, as cited in section 55(3) of 2004's Housing Act; because of the new requirements more properties will have to be licensed, before they can be rented out.

From that date any HMOs that have five or more people will have to be covered by a mandatory licence; the requirement for the number of storeys is no longer relevant.

There are more additional changes to HMO licensing and any purpose-built flats where there are up to two flats in the block, will also require mandatory licences.

Any HMOs covered by a selective licence, have to obtain a mandatory licence from October 2018.

Below is the list of the requirements that landlords will now have to acquire the mandatory licence for their properties:

• It is occupied by five or more persons;
• is occupied by persons living in two or more separate households; and meets—
• the standard test under section 254(2) of the Act;
• the self-contained flat test under section 254(3) of the Act but is not a purpose-built flat situated in a block comprising three or more self-contained flats; or
• the converted building test under section 254(4) of the Act.

The required HMO licence will allow each property to be let over a five year period.

Jorden Abbs, director of operations at a buy to let and commercial mortgage brokers, said: 'It is absolutely essential that you keep up to date with the changes taking place and ensure that you have the relevant HMO licence, if this is required. In the first instance, you should speak to your local council to learn if a licence is necessary and if so, what you must do.

'The changes coming in will impact on a number of London's landlords, but represent a further effort to improve standards with the private rental market."