Legislation has previously been for specific boroughs or for certain sizes and floors of properties, but from October 1st this will be extended to cover many more property types and therefore many more landlords. So what does this mean for you?
Landlords with an HMO are subject to the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation Order 2006. Local authorities set the cost of obtaining the licence of which there are 3 types:
Mandatory Licenses apply to five or more people, who form more than one household at least 3 storeys high
Additional Licenses apply to HMOs that fall outside the scope of the Mandatory Licence
Selective Licenses are determined by the local authority and can impact on different types of HMOs, irrespective of size and tenant number
Find out whether your local area currently requires a licence here:https://www.gov.uk/house-in-multiple-occupation-licence
In March 2018 the Government introduced the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation Order and from October 1st 2018 there will be an extension to the scope of mandatory licensing requirements for HMOs. Basically, more properties will require a licence before they can be let. Changes include:
HMOs occupied by five or more people must have an appropriate mandatory licence, with the number of storeys no longer a consideration.
HMO licensing will also now apply to purpose-built flats where there are up to two flats in the block.
Our top 3 tips....
1. Speak to your local council to see if you need a licence and what you need to do to get it; for example, one big change is the new minimum bedroom size. The cost of a licence varies for each council, ranging from a few hundred pounds to over one thousand pounds, and depends on the type and size of the HMO being licensed
2. Lenders already adopt differing approaches to investors who are looking to finance an HMO. So, if you are looking to obtain financing for an HMO, speak to a trusted lender who will help to identify the best buy-to-let mortgage to fit your circumstances. Be aware that the council will issue a draft licence to everyone involved in the property, including any mortgage company and the freeholder. This means a property cannot be licensed without their knowledge!
3. Get your skates on! All properties that fall under the new mandatory HMO definition must apply for a licence before 1st October 2018. It’s quite likely that not all licences will be issued before October 1st though.
It’s important you have a trusted business to take care of your Mandatory Licenses. Here at Gareth James, we can arrange and do this for you, including organising elements which are necessary under the license, such as an updated gas safety certificate every year, install and maintain smoke alarms and provide safety certificates for all electrical appliances when requested.