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Final Countdown: Mandatory HMO licensing changes happening on 1st October

Article Posted - 27th September 2018

As a reminder to landlords, the long-awaited changes to mandatory HMO licensing will come into force on the 1st October.

The changes will remove the three storey rule. Currently, mandatory licensing applies to HMOs of at least three storeys and five occupants comprising of two or more-family units.

The regulations also bring purpose-built flats where there are up to two flats in the block, into the scope of mandatory licensing.


It is critical that all landlords check if their properties come under the new regulations, if this the case, you should make sure you apply to your local authority as soon as possible.

Properties will be subject to mandatory licensing if they meet the following criteria:

The NLA is also aware that many local authorities are completely ill-prepared for the changes, however, we advise you apply using the existing processes. Landlords will only need to show that they have applied for a licence by the 1st October, therefore we recommend you ensure you receive an acknowledgement of your application from your local authority.

We've also put together a handy guide on the appropriate action you should take:

Minimum Room Sizes

The act will also bring into force new minimum room sizes:

Any room of less than 4.64m2 may not be used as sleeping accommodation, and landlords must inform their local authority of any room in the HMO which is under this size.

Grace Period

The Government had previously announced that there would be a six-month grace period. This is now not the case, all landlords must have applied for a licence by 1st October 2018.

Waste Schemes & Disposal Requirements

Each local authority can impose their own requirements for waste storage and disposal facilities for HMOs. Landlords will be required to comply with local waste schemes (if in place) and a failure to do so will be considered a breach of the licence and a criminal offence.

If you are unsure about the requirements in your area, you should contact your local authority.

You can also read our original news story and press release concerning HMO licensing here and here

You can also find our decision guide attached below to be downloaded.

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