I thought we’d already covered this, but it turns out we haven’t fully. So, from 1 October 2018, the definition of a HMO subject to mandatory licensing changes, and separately there are new room size requirements.
The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description)(England) Order 2018 removes the requirement that a licensable HMO must be of three storeys. The test is simple whether there are 5 or more people in two or more separate households. This will catch flats, 2 storey households and one storey properties. The estimate is of some 160,000 additional properties requiring licensing.
The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Mandatory Conditions of Licences) (England) Regulations 2018 come into force on 1 October 2018, setting new minimum room sizes HMOs under both mandatory and additional licensing
- (a) to ensure that the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged over 10 years is not less than 6.51 square metres;
- (b) to ensure that the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by two persons aged over 10 years is not less than 10.22 square metres;
- (c) to ensure that the floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged under 10 years is not less than 4.64 square metres;
- (d) to ensure that any room in the HMO with a floor area of less than 4.64 square metres is not used as sleeping accommodation.
This will apply to any new HMO licence from 1 October 2018. For existing licensed HMOs there is an 18 month transition period. Break out the tape measures… (NB – as this is for both mandatory and additional licensing, its application will vary depending on what additional HMO licensing scheme a council has in force, if any.)