Reminder to HMO landlords about new licensing law

The rules around managing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) have changed and Telford & Wrekin Council is warning landlords about the consequences of breaking the new law.

Reminder to HMO landlords about new licensing law

On 1 October this year, the rules around HMO licensing changed, meaning that any property with five or more people living as two or more households, now requires a licence.  Previously only HMOs that had three or more stories, with five or more people required a licence, but that is no longer the case.  It means all HMOs falling under this new definition have to have a licence by law. 

Other rule changes brought in by central government also mean new minimum room sizes apply to properties and a requirement to comply with the local refuse rules.  Landlords who renew their licenses will have to adhere to new enhanced conditions. 

Earlier this year, Telford & Wrekin Council which is issuing the licences encouraged landlords to become aware of the changes and prepare their applications.

With the 1 October deadline having passed, the Council granted landlords a period of grace for late applications. It is now warning landlords they have until the end of the year to apply, or face enforcement action.

Cllr Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Enforcement said: “We have given landlords a little extra time to help them get their heads around the new law, complete a DBS check and submit their applications.

“We are giving them until the end of the year. In January, our Rogue Landlord Taskforce will start to investigate and, where they find a property that should have been licensed but wasn’t, action will be taken against the landlord.

“Anyone found to be operating and/or managing a House in Multiple Occupation can be prosecuted or issued with a fixed penalty notice of up to £30,000.

“This is a final call to landlords to abide by this new law.”

Further information and guidance on HMOs and licensing can be found here.

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