If you rent out a property classed as a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) you need to make sure you are aware of some recent changes.
A HMO is a property that is rented to a number of unrelated tenants who share facilities like bathroom or kitchen. They can include shared houses or flats above commercial premises.
On October 1st, mandatory HMO licensing was extended to include one and two storey properties. An HMO must now be licensed if:
* it is let to five or more people from more than one household.
* at least some tenants share a kitchen or bathroom
* it is not a purpose-built flat in a block of three or more flats.
The government has introduced these changes with the intention of raising standards and so that good landlords who work hard for their tenants do not face unfair competition from rogue landlords who ignore their obligations.
Application forms are available at local council offices or on their websites.
Failure to apply for a licence if one is required is a criminal offence and may result in prosecution or a civil penalty.