New government rules regarding licencing of Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) came into force in England on 1st October 2018.
The government describes a HMO as "a property rented out by at least three people who are not from one 'household' (e.g. a family), but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. It's sometimes called a 'house share'." From 1st October 2018, HMOs occupied by five or more people, must have an appropriate mandatory licence, with the number of storeys no longer a consideration.
This means it is absolutely essential that buy to let landlords keep up to date with these regulatory changes to ensure that they have the relevant HMO licence, when required.
An outline of the changes can be found here.
The move, affecting around 160,000 houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), will mean councils can take further action to crack down on the small minority of landlords renting out sub-standard and overcrowded homes.
New rules will also come into force setting minimum size requirements for bedrooms in HMOs to prevent overcrowding. Landlords will also be required to adhere to council refuse schemes, to reduce problems with rubbish.
At present, HMO licensing is limited to specific local authorities, but it is essential that you have the appropriate licence if your local council requires one. You can check whether your property is located in an area requiring a licence here.
Marlow Gardner & Cooke can provide landlord insurance for a wide range of properties. To find out more, please get in touch with us here or give us a call on 01733 328000.