Changes are set to occur in which an additional 174,000 properties are estimated to require a mandatory HMO license through government amendments to rules of mandatory licensing.
Under current regulations, properties that are required to hold a HMO license are of at least 3 storeys, as well as 5 or more occupants who form more than one household (e.g. excluding families).
The proposal, which is set to occur at some point throughout 2017, will eliminate the ‘storey rule’ that currently exists, meaning that the number of storeys a property has will no longer be regarded. Accordingly, only properties that house five or more tenants from two or more households will require a mandatory HMO licence.
Changes are being implemented in an attempt to improve poor living standards from overcrowding that have developed within private sector HMO properties, providing tenants with extra protection.
Additional changes through HMO licensing mean that rooms will now have to meet minimum space standards. The minimum standard of a room for one person is 6.52m2 and a room for two persons is 10.23m2.
The consultation is also set to propose licensing measures that will apply to flats above and below shops and other business premises. As part of the HMO licence, further changes are being consulted including the disclosure of criminal records from landlords and a requirement to ensure that there are sufficient refuse disposal facilities for tenants.