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As New HMO Licensing Changes Loom, Can Landlords Contest The Fees?

Landlords are being reminded that the law affecting houses of multiple of occupation (HMO) changes next month (1 October). Previously, landlords only had to licence HMOs with five people or more in separate households, sharing amenities and if the house was three or more storeys.

As of the 1 October 2018, HMOs with five or more people must be licenced regardless of the number of floors in the property.
This could include apartments, flats above shops, two storey houses and bungalows. Failure to comply with this legal obligation could result in a fine of up to £30,000. There is also a new legal minimum requirement for HMOs to have a floor area no-smaller than 6.51sqm.

What is the new maximum room size legislation?
This new legislation is broken down into more specific requirements controlling the space now allowed to be made available for people over the age of 10 and under the age of 10, and the number of people who can also share this space. Licences issued from October 1st will contain conditions ensuring that the floor space of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation:

  • By one person aged over 10 is not less than 6.51sqm
  • By two people aged over 10 is not less than 10.22sqm
  • By one person aged under 10 is not less than 4.64sqm

Also, any room in the HMO with a floor area less than 4.64sqm must not be used as sleeping accommodation. Furthermore, you must notify the local authority if your HMO has a room measuring less than 4.64 square metres, regardless of what you intend to use it for.

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