New Government HMO Consultation

The Government have launched a consultation on extending the mandatory licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMO). 

They plan to make the following changes through secondary legislation.

  • Remove the storey rule so all houses with 5 or more people from 2 or more households are in scope
  • Extend mandatory licensing to flats above and below business premises (regardless of storeys)
  • Set a minimum size of 6.52sq-m in line with existing overcrowding standard (Housing Act 1985)

The order is proposed to come into force in 2017 (likely either April or October), and there would be a grace period of 6 months for landlords to apply for a license.

These proposals follow a technical consultation paper the Government sought views on last year. Some measures were brought up by respondents in this which the Government is now consulting on further.

  • Fit and proper person test: Should criminal record checks by made mandatory for licences, and if so should they be made through Disclosure Scotland or the DBS?
  •    Waste: Should there be a mandatory condition relating to household refuse, and providing “adequate receptacles for the storage and disposal of normal household waste”? (If included it would “likely” apply to licences granted after implementation.)

For more information see here. The consultation closes on 13 December 2016.