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Mandatory licensing of large HMOs
This applies nationwide for HMOs where there are five or more occupants in a property of three or more storeys and the tenants comprise of two or more households.
However, as of 1st October 2018 the definition changed and the three storey requirement has been removed. This means single storey flats (where there are two or flats in a block) or two storey maisonettes will need a mandatory licence if they are let to five or more people who form two or more households. There is an exception for purpose built flats situated in a block of three or more self-contained flats.
In addition, new mandatory licensing conditions will be introduced prescribing national minimum sizes for rooms used as sleeping accommodation, and requiring landlords to adhere to council refuse schemes.
This rule change applies to new and existing tenancies and those landlords affected are advised to apply for a mandatory licence now. If they haven’t applied by now they will be committing a criminal offence.
When a council imposes a policy requiring other sizes of HMOs to also be licensed. For example, Nottingham council enforces that any property where three or more share a property, a licence must be obtained.
This is at the discretion of the borough and can affect all rental properties regardless of size, number of storeys, or number of occupants. For example, a council can instigate compulsory licensing of all residential rental properties within a street, ward or the whole borough. Again, Nottingham council has implemented this form of licensing for all privately rented properties within the city centre and certain other wards.
Before granting a licence, the local authority must be satisfied that the owner and any managing agent of the property is fit and proper to hold a licence and that the property meets required physical standards.
If you are unsure whether your property requires a licence or have any other questions regarding landlord legislation, we are hosting a series of live webinars, starting on Wednesday 28th November, hosted by our Director of Tenancy Services, Sarah Bailey MARLA and Head of Compliance, Nicola Hopley MARLA. To register your interest and sign up, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org