Proposed HMO Licensing Scheme changes 2018

Towards the end of 2016, the Government announced their intention to expand the mandatory HMO licensing scheme, with the changes likely to come into force in 2018, however, the dates have not been confirmed at the time of writing. Newcastle City Council has suggested that there will likely be a three month grace period in which landlords need to comply from April 18.

This means that all properties falling under the new rules will need to have submitted an application to the council and paid the relevant fee within this period.

The changes will mean the removal of the three-storey rule but retain the threshold of the minimum of five unrelated sharers.

What this means for landlords is that in future, licensing will extend to all HMOs occupied by five or more people in two or more households, throughout England.

Also proposed is a new minimum HMO room size for properties that have been licensed under a mandatory HMO or additional licensing scheme – 6.52m2 for a single room and 10.23m2 for a double room. Councils will retain the ability to specify larger sizes where it is deemed appropriate.

This will mean that some rooms cannot be let out in the properties with 5 or more tenants, and would, therefore, bring some properties out of the requirements to be a licensable HMO.

If your property already has an HMO certificate this would only affect you at the point of any renewal.

If you have a property managed by Acorn which falls under the proposed changes we will, of course, be in touch to ensure you stay compliant once we have full confirmation from the council.

Watch this space for further updates as and when they become available.

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