What are the Changes to HMO Rules?

1st October 2018 saw changes to the law around HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) legislation, and if you are considering purchasing a property with a buy-to-let mortgage it is important to understand exactly where you stand, and what your own legal responsibilities and obligations are.

The changes to HMO licensing scrapped the three-storey rule, with mandatory licensing previously applying to HMOs of at least three-storeys and at least five occupants in two or more family-units. The changes brings into play purpose-built flats where there are up to two flats in the block.

Properties will now be subject to mandatory HMO Licensing if they fit the following criteria:

  • There are five or more people occupying the building
  • There are two or more separate households
  • The property meets: the standard test, self-contained flat test, converted building test

The Order applies to all HMOs in England but does not apply to any blocks of flats that have been converted. These are bound to section 257 of the Act. For any landlord or potential landlord subject to the new HMO mandatory licensing there are a few minimum requirements to adhere to.

These include minimum room sizes, with no room under 4.64m2 legally allowed as sleeping accommodation. Any rooms under this size must be stated clearly to the local authority.

If you are considering becoming a landlord of an HMO and you are looking for mortgage advice, our friendly team at Central Mortgages is here to help. You can speak to us by calling 01277 630 183 or by emailing office@centralmortgages.net.

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