Time is running out to license Houses in Multiple Occupation
Landlords and letting agents in North East Lincolnshire are being reminded to ensure they comply with recent government changes and apply for a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) license.
The changes, which were introduced from Monday 1 October 2018, mean that all HMO’s of five or more people now require a license from the council. Those that fail to do so will face a fine from Tuesday 1 January 2018.
The categories of HMO that require a license include:
- HMOs that meet the standard test where at least two households share a basic amenity or the living accommodation is lacking a basic amenity.
- HMOs that meet the self-contained flat test but are not purpose built flats situated in a block compromising of three or more self-contained flats. The flat must be occupied by five 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.
- HMOs that meet the converted building test, a building that has been converted and in which one or more of the units of living accommodation is not a self-contained flat.
As well as the standard license conditions, landlords need to be aware of the additional conditions being introduced. These include:
- Mandatory national minimum sleeping room sizes
- Waste disposal provision requirements.
The license does not apply to converted blocks of flats, known as section 257 HMOs.
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, 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.
“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.”