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Landlords - be aware of new HMO rules from 1st October 2018


As from 1st October this year, the definition of what a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) changes.

The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018 was agreed by Parliament on February 23rd and will come into effect across England later this year.

The critical change of this Order is the definition of an HMO.

Currently, the existing HMO definition is a property occupied by 5 or more people, forming two or more separate households and comprising of three or more storeys. 

The new definition of an HMO for licensing purposes will be any property occupied by five or more people, forming two or more separate households.

Other changes

Our understanding is that this is the only significant change we need to be aware of - the Order removes the number of storeys from the HMO definition criteria.

In October 2016, we reported on proposals for, among other things, a new minimum bedroom size for properties in HMO’s being introduced in England. At the time of writing, this change has not been agreed upon and is not included in the Order.

Don’t forget local legislation too

Do remember that as well as being aware of these new HMO rules for mandatory HMO licensing, HMO landlords should also be mindful of the additional and selective licensing requirements that are applied to specific parts across the UK.

Further reading: Inside article