New House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing rules are expected to be introduced in spring 2018 and the laws could require landlords to carry out restructuring work on their properties or face heavy fines.
Landlords who own HMOs will require new licences under the rules. Around 60,000 HMOs across the UK already require a licence, but it is estimated that a further 174,000 properties will be subject to mandatory licensing changes aimed at improving housing conditions.
The new licensing rules will impose minimum standards on room sizes, storage facilities and waste disposal for all HMOs, including conversions and properties of multiple use.
The legislation will also scrap the requirement that all HMOs should have at least three storeys in order to fall within the scope of the licensing. Under the plans, local councils will also be granted additional powers to adjust the benchmarks and licensing fees if they see fit. However, some property owners believe that regions outside London won’t be affected, because the new standards are already being met. This raises concerns that more needs to be done by the Government to dispel this myth and inform all HMO landlords of the impending changes.