North East Lincolnshire Council

Housing in Multiple Occupation: Landlords urged to sign up or face a fine

Landlords and letting agents in North East Lincolnshire need to act now to ensure that they comply with the latest government changes around Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

The changes, which come into force from Monday 1 October 2018, will mean that all houses of 5 or more people will require a license from the Council.

Landlords of HMO’s in the local area occupied by 5 or more people across 2 households will be required to apply for a license from the Council, beginning the application process before the 1 October.

The license does not apply to converted blocks of flats, known as section 257 HMO’s.

The categories of HMO that will require a license include:

  • HMO’s that meet the standard test where at least 2 households share a basic amenity or the living accommodation is lacking a basic amenity.
  • HMO’s that meet the self-contained flat test but are not purpose built flats situated in a block comprising of 3 or more self-contained flats. The flat must be occupied by 5 or more people forming more than one household and lacks a basic amenity or more than one household shares a basic amenity. This includes flats above and below commercial premises and flats in converted buildings
  • HMO’s that meet the converted building test – is a building that has been converted and in which one or more of the units of living accommodation is not self-contained flat.

As well as the standard licence conditions, landlords need to be aware of the additional conditions being introduced:-

1) Mandatory national minimum sleeping room sizes, and

2) Waste disposal provision requirements.

Councillor Peter Wheatley, portfolio holder for housing, said: “HMOs tend to be occupied by some of the most vulnerable people in our society. Often, so-called ‘rogue landlords’ exploit these people, cramming lots of people into sub-standard, overcrowded and potentially dangerous properties without even the basic fire safety precautions in place.

“Poorly managed and illegal HMO’s can have a huge impact on local communities, leading to other issues such as anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.

“These changes, put in place by the government, will give the Council new powers to tackle rogue landlords and will help us to keep on top of those houses that have been legally converted to HMOs.

“Landlords don’t have long to get acquainted with the rules and apply for a license. We are willing to work with them to ensure they don’t fall afoul of these changes in the law, but they must come forward.”

North East Lincolnshire Council will be hosting drop-in sessions for landlords and tenants to advise on the new changes to the law and to help landlords apply for a license.

The sessions, which will be held at New Oxford House, George Street, Grimsby, will take place on:

Wednesday 19 September from 9am to 1pm

Tuesday 25 September from 1pm to 5pm

Landlords can also register their HMO to apply for a license by contacting the Home Improvement team on homeimprovementteam@nelincs.gov.uk or by calling 01472 324727.

It will be an offence not to have a license after the 1 October 2018.

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