Mandatory Licensing:

Under the provisions of STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS 2018 No. 221, “The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018”, 20th February 2018 and in force from 1st October 2018, the HMO mandatory licensing scheme will be extended.

These new regulations bring mandatory licensing to all multi-occupied properties where there are 5 or more occupants from 2 or more separate households (families) and where the building is either a converted building with living accommodation, or one which contains self-contained flats, but not a purpose-built block of flats.

The tree-storey rules no longer applies.

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Basically it means that any landlord renting out a property will 5 or more occupants, unless they are one family, will need to apply to their local council for a mandatory HMO licence. There are heavy fines for anyone renting these types of premises without a licence.

The Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) has recorded its irritation at the government’s apparent reneging on its previous pledge to allow a 6-month grace period once the regulation comes into effect, as the process will overload local authority resources.

The promised clarification on minimum room sizes has yet to be announced.

Details of the new regulations here

©LandlordZONE® – legal content applies primarily to England and is not a definitive statement of the law, always seek professional advice.


  1. Still bit confused on the 5 occupants and mandatory license rules. Is this new regulation means if there are only 4 occupants then no need for license?
    Also the 3 storeys rules no longer apply is that means any property would need a license?

  2. I’m presuming that this only applies if the property is owned by 1 landlord and doesn’t apply if the same premises has multiple owners. If that’s the case it’s a bit ridiculous really and just seems to be targeting landlords, rather than being for everyone’s safety.

  3. The key phrase in this article says it all ‘…WILL NEED TO APPLY TO THEIR LOCAL COUNCIL FOR A MANDATORY HMO LICENCE’.

    So there you have it! Basically it’s YET ANOTHER way to rinse the private residential landlord. However, like most of this pathetic government’s nonsense the only people who will pay will be the honest decent landlords who are generally in the majority. The rogues and thugs won’t take any notice of it and will probably continue to collect the rent with baseball bats.

    A friend of mine who owns several flats in Croydon had a visit from one of the council drones, in accordance with the ‘licence to let’ he’s been forced has to pay for. Interestingly the council drone was only interested in visiting the nice private flat my friend owns and didn’t bother with the council property he also owns on a rather dodgy estate. The idiot also missed a poorly installed flue, that my friend has subsequently had rectified because he is a responsible landlord.


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