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Fewer floors for HMOs and minimum room sizes.


The Housing Minister, Alok Sharma, has confirmed that the Government will be going ahead with its proposals to change the conditions for a mandatory license for HMOs to any property with 5 or more occupants in 2 or more households, regardless of the layout of the property (previously the property had to be of three storeys). Any flat or two storey house will be caught once regulations are brought in.

The announcement also confirmed that there will be minimum bedroom sizes for HMOs.

Rooms used for sleeping by 1 adult will have to be no smaller than 6.51 square metres, and those slept in by 2 adults will have to be no smaller than 10.22 square metres. Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger will have to be no smaller than 4.64 square metres.

The announcement also refers to the consultation response on the list of banning order offences, due to come into force in April 2018, but the full list if not set out (although the announcement says it is).

We might note in passing, with a degree of irony, that the DWP believes it is impossible to define a bedroom by a minimum size for the purposes of the Bedroom Tax. However, DCLG appear to have just done so, at least for private sector HMOs.

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


  1. Rich Greenhill

    For what it’s worth, the draft Housing and Planning Act 2016 (Banning Order Offences) Regulations were laid before Parliament on 29 November 2017: The regulations, once approved by each House and formally made, are indeed set to come into force on 6 April 2018.

  2. Steve Grant

    I wonder if this will include a tenant subletting part of their own home to another person.

  3. Ben Reeve-Lewis

    I just read the Govuk link above and saw Alok Sharma saying this “Landlords will be held responsible for making sure the council’s rules on refuse and recycling are followed.”

    Is this a new law? Have I missed it?

  4. Ben Reeve-Lewis

    Oh great…….now my job is going to have me rooting around in bins!

  5. jonathan

    I presume this will apply to a lot of private student housing around the country.

    • Giles Peaker

      HMO requirements already do. Yes more will be caught.

  6. ianringrose

    So what powers are being given to HMO landlords, so they can get tenants to keep to the rubbish rules etc?

  7. kjetilniki

    so it would appear that a family of a couple with 2 children [4 people] who take in a lodger who shares a toilet with the family but otherwise has a separate existance – (2 households with 5 or more people) will have the full blown HIMO paraphenalia. Not very condciuve to attempts to get rid of mortgage arrears or contrary to the Rent a Room Scheme policy to increase accommodation and reduce homelessness. but I may have overlooked an exemption

    • Giles Peaker

      You have. A resident landlord’s whole household only counts as one person for the purposes of HMO regulations. So your example would be two people.

  8. kjetilniki

    I have looked again. (including 2006/ 371,372 & 373; 2007/1903; 2012/2111)
    There is provision in s258 about households and here there would be 2 households.
    There is also provision in s264 for an SI over the calculation of numbers of persons. I have been unable to locate an exercise of that power so as to calculate members of resident landlords’ household being calculated as one person (as opposed to one household).
    I am obviously missing something very obvious.


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