New government regulations came into force in England on 1st October requiring all new and existing landlords of Houses in Multiple Occupation (“HMO’s”) to obtain licences for their properties.
Government estimates suggest that the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018 will extend the existing licensing regime to 170,000 additional HMO’s.
HMO’s are properties which are let to five or more people – from two or more separate households – which share facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom. Previously, only about 60,000 HMO’s in England required licences since the requirement was restricted only to properties with three storeys or more.
Under the new regulations, all HMO’s in England will now need to be licensed regardless of how many storeys they have. A person commits a criminal offence punishable with an unlimited fine if they have control of or manage an unlicensed HMO.
Landlords can find further information on applying for an HMO at https://www.gov.uk/house-in-multiple-occupation-licence
Christopher Hopkins is a specialist regulatory barrister with experience of both defending and prosecuting private landlords for related offences in the criminal courts. He is regularly instructed by landlords on a direct access basis as well as by defence solicitors and prosecuting local authorities. View his full profile here: https://www.no5.com/barristers/barrister-details/451-christopher-hopkins/