The Additional Licensing for HMOs will come into effect on 30 August 2021
A house in multiple occupation (HMO) is a property which is occupied by at least three people who are not from one household. HMOs include buildings where facilities are shared, but can also include buildings divided into self-contained flats. Licences are required for most properties with five or more people forming two or more households who share facilities.
The most appropriate person to apply for the licence is normally the landlord or managing agent, if they are receiving all rents directly.
From 30 August 2021, a broader range of HMOs will require licensing.
Applications for additional licensing will be accepted in advance from 30 May 2021.
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Do I need a licence?
HMOs include house and flat shares, bedsits and some buildings converted into self-contained flats. In order for a building, or part of a building, to form an HMO it must fall within: shared houses and flats, and buildings converted into flats.
Shared houses and flats
This category describes shared houses or flats where three or more people share facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom and the property is occupied by two or more households.
As part of the Additional Licensing Scheme, small HMOs occupied by 3 or more people from 2 or more households will require licensing. This includes HMOs in purpose-built blocks that aren’t currently licensed under the mandatory scheme. The scheme comes into effect on 30 August 2021.
Buildings converted to flats
From 30 August 2021, some buildings converted into self-contained flats will require licensing. These are considered Section 257 HMOs.
In order to be classed a Section 257 HMO, there are two conditions that must be met.
The conditions are that:
- more than a third of the flats must be let to Assured Shorthold Tenants or licensees (less than two thirds owner occupied)
- the building does not comply with the 1991 Building Regulations or later regulations that applied if the building was converted after 1 June 1992.
The most appropriate person to apply for a licence will be the 'person having control' of the property. This is normally the person who receives the rent.
For buildings converted into flats (Section 257 HMO's) where a landlord does not have full control of the property the order of preference would be:
- a right to manage company
- a manager appointed under the Landlord and Tenant Act 1987
- a leaseholder or freeholder of whole building
- an appointed manager
Letting out or managing a licensable HMO without a licence and failure to comply with the requirements of a licence is an offence. This can result in an unlimited fine upon conviction or a civil penalty up to £30,000