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Landlords - are you ready for new licensing requirements coming into force on 1st October 2018?

Published on Wednesday, 19th September 2018

HMO

Maldon District Council is urging landlords of ‘Houses in Multiple Occupation’ (HMOs) to ensure that they are prepared for and legally compliant with new licensing requirements. They come into force on 1st October 2018.

It will be an offence for a landlord not to hold a licence, or not to have applied for a licence, if their HMO is occupied by five or more persons.  To make a licence application, or for further information, landlords can visit.

Licences last for five years and the licence application fee is currently £696.00 for five bedrooms.  Costs increase incrementally per additional bedroom.

It is the landlords’ responsibility to ensure that they are licensed and failure to do so will result in enforcement action being taken by the Council with potentially unlimited fines for non-compliance. The Government has issued formal guidance on the changes:

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is most commonly a single house or flat that has been subdivided into individual rooms that are rented out to unrelated individuals. There are typically shared amenities such as a bathroom or kitchen.  Another common scenario is shared houses or flats where at least three unrelated residents live together. (This is a simplified explanation and landlords in any doubt should review the above guidance and speak with Council’s environmental health team in the first instance to confirm whether the property they have is an HMO).

As is currently the case, there are standards applicable to all HMOs whether they are licensable or not (i.e. HMOs with fewer than five occupants) and landlords are again recommended to contact Council’s environmental health team to ensure that they are aware of the requirements and that their properties are compliant.

The above changes are designed to help ensure that basic standards and fire safety arrangements are in place within such accommodation.  If you are a landlord or tenant of an HMO and have any queries about this then the Council can be contacted on 01621 854477 or e-mail contact@maldon.gov.uk