From 1 October 2018, significant changes are being made to which HMOs are licensable and minimum room sizes in HMOs in England.
Changes to mandatory licensing
Currently, a property requires a mandatory licence if all of the following apply:
the property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) (occupied by individuals who are not all related to one another); and
the property is occupied by five or more individuals; and
the property has 3 storeys or more
In addition to mandatory licensing, a local authority can designate specified areas as being subject to additional licensing (where any HMO requires a licence regardless of occupiers and storeys) or selective licensing (where any rented property requires a licence).
From 1 October in England, mandatory licensing is changing and The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018 will replace the 2006 order of the same name.
The 3 storeys element is being removed meaning that any HMO occupied by 5 or more individuals (not all related to one another) will require an HMO licence.
The licence must be applied for before 1 October 2018 in order to lawfully continue renting out the property.
Minimum HMO Room Sizes
The minimum room sizes will be introduced by way of conditions in a mandatory or additional HMO licence and as such only apply to licensable HMOs. The minimum room size doesn’t apply to selective licensing.