Changes to legislation mean that from 1st October 2018 the existing HMO mandatory licensing scheme is being extended and will include all properties occupied by 5 or more people in 2 or more households. It also states the minimum sleeping room sizes, maximum number of occupants and provision of refuse facilities required.
If you let a property which is one of the following types it is an HMO:
An entire house or flat which is let to 3 or more tenants who form 2 or more households and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet.
A house which has been converted entirely into bedsits or other non-self-contained accommodation and which is let to 3 or more tenants who form two or more households and who share kitchen, bathroom or toilet facilities.
A converted house which contains one or more flats which are not wholly self-contained (i.e. the flat does not contain within it a kitchen, bathroom and toilet) and which is occupied by 3 or more tenants who form two or more households.
A building which is converted entirely into self-contained flats if the conversion did not meet the standards of the 1991 Building Regulations and more than one-third of the flats are let on short-term tenancies.
In order to be an HMO the property must be used as the tenants’ only or main residence and it should be used solely or mainly to house tenants. Properties let to students and migrant workers will be treated as their only or main residence and the same will apply to properties which are used as domestic refuges.
The new regulations mean that all HMOs with 5 or more occupiers living in 2 or more households regardless of the number of storeys will require a HMO licence. So any bungalow, flat or 2 storey property occupied by five or more people will now need to be licensed.
For the purposes of licensing, a flat meets the self-contained flat test if it is occupied by 5 or more people forming more than one household and the flat lacks a basic amenity or more than one household or more than one household share a basic amenity (all of which are in the flat) e.g. a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities. This includes flats above and below commercial premises and flats in converted buildings
above or below commercial premises
A new minimum bedroom size has also been introduced.
A room used for sleeping by one person over 10-years-old will have to be no smaller than 6.51 square metres,
A room slept in by two people over 10-years-old will have to be no smaller than 10.22 square metres.
Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger will have to be no smaller than 4.64 square metres.
Competed applications, with all the required supporting information, and the fee should be submitted to Taunton Deane Borough Council or West Somerset Council, to enable us to begin the process and issue approved licences which will be valid from 1st October 2018.
Applications should be submitted as soon as possible as it is an offence to operate an unlicensed HMO and can result in fines and/or rent repayment order.
Discounts are available for landlords who are members of registered landlords associations.
If you have any further queries please call us on 01823 356356
Released jointly on behalf of Taunton Deane Borough Council and West Somerset Council
Media & Communications office 01823 219772