Licensing Of Houses In Multiple Occupation
On 18 October 2016 the government launched a consultation on proposals to extend the scope of mandatory licensing for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and impose a national minimum room size for HMOs.
It seems likely therefore that the government’s intention is to:-
- Require all houses (regardless of how many floors) occupied by 5 or more people from two or more households to be licensed and extend mandatory licensing to flats above and below business premises (once again regardless of the number of storeys);
- Introduce compulsory minimum sizes for rooms used as sleeping accommodation in licensable HMOs;
- Require the license holder to make adequate provision for the storage and disposal for normal household waste;
- Enhance the ‘fit and proper person’ test for landlords and ensure that criminal records checks are carried out; and
- Consider whether the current licensing arrangements for purpose built student accommodation are appropriate.
It should be noted that those proposals relate to England only.
The consultation is to last for 8 weeks from 18 October 2016 and thereafter it is a reasonable bet that the proposals are likely to be carried into law although the timescale on that is uncertain.