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HMO licence rule changes are on the way as the criteria for properties that need an HMO licence becomes broader.

At the present time you are only required by law to obtain a Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licence if the rental property is:

1) Rented to five or more people from more than one household

2) At least three storeys high

3) Having tenants using the same facilities

Though individual councils are able to set further rules.

However, from the first of October this year, any property occupied by five or more people from two or more households will be considered an HMO, regardless of its height or the available facilities.

Anyone managing a property that is considered to be a House of Multiple Occupation needs to apply for an HMO licence.

HMO managers need to be considered a fit and proper person to hold an HMO licence.

The property will also be required to meet further safety obligations with regard to fire, gas and general safety, and the property must be considered suitable for the number of tenants living in it.

Minimum room sizes will also come into play in October. Bedrooms occupied by a single adult will need to measure a minimum of 6.51 square metres, while those occupied by two adults will need to measure 10.22 square metres or more.

Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger will have to be no smaller than 4.64 square metres.

In Scotland and Wales, regulations are slightly different. An HMO is any property rented by at least three unrelated people who share bathroom, toilet or kitchen facilities. Your responsibilities and obligations in Wales and Scotland for running an HMO may also vary.

In addition to the new HMO regulations introduced nationwide, many councils are introducing further landlord licensing schemes, so it is important for all landlords to check local regulations.

Source: Residential Landlord

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