The current definition of an HMO is a property of three or more storeys where there are five or more occupants and the tenants comprise two or more households.

This definition is changing from 1 October and the definition will apply to all properties not just those of three or more storeys.  Single storey flats or two storey maisonettes will need a mandatory licence if they are let to five or more people who form more than one household.

Furthermore, new mandatory licensing conditions will be introduced. These will prescribe national minimum sizes for rooms used as sleeping accommodation and will require landlords to adhere to council refuse schemes.

The rules being introduced apply to new and existing tenancies.  If they haven’t already done so, landlords with properties that come under the new definition of HMO are advised to apply for a mandatory licence as soon as possible.  Any landlord affected who hasn’t applied by 1 October 2018 will be committing a criminal offence.

Use this link for a clear explanation of the new licensing regulations and the different types of licensing in England.