Please Note: This Article is 4 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

Mandatory licensing for HMO landlords in England is to be extended as the definition of an HMO is redefined.

There is uncertainty and speculation still about exactly what will constitute an HMO requiring mandatory licensing in the future, but it is thought a change is on the cards following an announcement by David Cameron immediately after the election.

Currently an HMO is a multi-occupied residential house of three or more stories, occupied by five or more people from two or more households. Failure to licence and follow the strict management guidelines required of an HMO meeting these criteria can result in a £20,000 fine.

David Cameron sees the extension of the HMO licensable regime to smaller properties as a way of tackling the illegal immigrant and rogue landlord problems. It is thought the change may bring smaller multi-occupied two-story “shared houses” and even one story “beds-in-sheds” rentals into mandatory licensing.

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If this happens, as seems likely, not only will this put local authority housing staff under intense pressure, it would bring many more properties under the licensing umbrella, as thousands of student houses come under the two story “shared house” category.

The two main landlord associations, NLA and RLA have been in consultations with government over the changes and are awaiting more information about a consultation to be undertaken on the redefinition of HMOs.

Please Note: This Article is 4 years old. This increases the likelihood that some or all of it's content is now outdated.

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