WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW?

During 2017 HMO legislation is changing. This means your home will need an HMO licence if at least five tenants live there, forming more than 1 household and share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities.

As of 1st October 2017 the enforcement laws come into play. If you are reported to be running an HMO illegally (even your tenants can report you) you will be added to the “official blacklist of bad landlords” which it has been suggested will prevent you from trading in property for a minimum of 1 year. HMO Services London are here to help and will absolutely ensure you are compliant to the new regulation.

Many local authorities also run Additional HMO Licensing schemes, such as the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. In this instance all HMOs (3 or more people forming more than one household) will require licensing.

Houses in multiple occupation (HMO), also known as houses of multiple occupancy, are residential properties where ‘common areas’ exist and are shared by more than one household.

The concept of HMOs arose from the Housing Act 1985, which recognised the need to vastly improve the living standards of people living in shared accommodation.

The Act first defined an HMO as “a house which is occupied by persons who do not form a single household”.

This was amended slightly in the Housing Act 1989 before both acts were superseded by the still current “Housing Act 2004 “.

The “Housing Act 2004” defines an HMO as a property where:
◦ at least 3 tenants live there, forming more than 1 household and
◦ toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are shared among tenants

Although many people immediately think of bed-sit type accommodation, the vast majority of HMOs in London were previously family homes, now being shared by young professional people.

HMO licensing was first introduced in Scotland in 2000 in response to a fatal fire at a flat in Glasgow, which had no working smoke detectors, and had metal bars on the windows preventing escape.

HMO licensing schemes have been subsequently introduced to other parts of the UK, though the definition of what constitutes a licensable HMO varies between Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England & Wales.

Currently in England and Wales your home requires an HMO licence if all of the following apply:
◦ it is at least three storeys high
◦ at least five tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
◦ toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are shared between tenants

However during 2017 the legislation is changing to exclude the number of storeys condition. This means that your home will require an HMO licence if the following apply:
◦ at least five tenants live there, forming more than 1 household
◦ toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities are shared among tenants

To be granted a licence under the scheme, properties must meet certain standards, such as presence of smoke detectors, fire doors and other safety equipment.

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