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New HMO licensing rules for landlords

New House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing rules are to be introduced in spring this year. Currently, HMOs that need to be mandatorily licensed are those of three or more storeys. The new rules are likely to bring an extra 160,000 properties, including two storey houses into the mandatory licensing scheme. Here is everything you need to know ahead of the changes.

What is an HMO?

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a property rented out by at least 3 people who are not from the same household but share facilities like the bathroom or the kitchen.

Do you need a license?

At the moment, only HMOs with at least three storeys in use with a minimum of 5 tenants creating more than one household and using shared facilities require a mandatory HMO license. As there is no national standard, it is essential that you keep up to date with the regulatory framework of your local council.

How does the license work?

An HMO license will last for a maximum of five years. It is your responsibility to renew it before it expires. If you own more than one property, you will need to request a separate licence for each one of them.

What are the new rules going to change?

 New HMO licensing rules are expected in spring this year and Landlords who own HMOs may require new licences. The new licensing rules will impose minimum standards on room sizes, waste disposal and storage facilities for all HMOs. The new regulations will also scrap the requirement that all HMOs must have at least three storeys in order to fall within the scope of the licensing process. Landlords who fail to comply with the new licensing legislation could find themselves with properties that can no longer be rented.

Who do the news rules apply to?

Landlords who own HMOs will require new licences to comply to the new regulations. Landlords who own one and two storey properties will also have to get a license under the new scheme. Properties that are located above commercial buildings will also need to be licensed.


If you have any questions about your legal requirements as a landlord, or to make sure you’re operating responsibly, don’t hesitate to give our property experts a call on 020 7078 0214, or send an email to