Via the Property Tribes Landlord Network.

Mary Latham

CALL TO ACTION – HMO licensing changes 

There are serious implications for HMO landlords who do not obtain a Mandatory HMO LICENCE, under the new criteria announced on 23rd February, BY 1st October 2018

Any property occupied by 5 or more unrelated people, or 2 or more families sharing facilities must have a licence

The minister told us that there would be 6 months grace from the date that the new legislation began until we would face legal action for failure to apply for a licence. In the new legislation published on 23rd February,  there is NO GRACE PERIOD and in fact it makes it very clear that we are in breach if we do not apply BY 1ST OCTOBER 2018. I imagine that the fact that it has been announced in February meets the obligation for the grace period. My fear is that landlords will not realise this.


An obligation is placed in all local authorities to inform landlords and to process licence applications from 23rd February. The licence will not begin until 1st October 2018 but since there will be thousands of applications local authorities need to prepare at once.

I’m hopeful that this burden will prevent the introduction of more Selective licensing for a while as an unintended consequence

The new room sizes and amenity standards will be announced in the near future

I suggest that we all write to our local authorities as follows

Now that The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018 has been published. (23rd February) it raises some important questions

The commencement date is 1st October 2018

There is no grace period after that date in the legislation – one assumes that by announcing now this is considered to be 6 months grace period

Landlords, with properties that fall within the criteria – 5 unrelated people sharing facilities,  – will break the law if they do not APPLY for an HMO licence BY 1st October 2018

Lenders are now refusing mortgage applications if the licence hasn’t been issued

Tenants must be shown that the property is licensed BEFORE  they move in or before a new AST is issued to a current tenant, otherwise the landlord is in breach of Section 21 legislation

My question is – Has the council got a system in place to deal with the increase in applications and provide a licence in a timely manner to avoid interfering with the legal obligations of the landlord and the legal rights of both tenants and landlords …???

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