Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

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Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

At present a property must have a minimum of three storeys, be occupied by five or people and those five or people must be formed of two or more household and there is sharing of a basic amenity (washing, toilet or cooking facilities).

Mandatory licensing covers all relevant HMOs regardless of the number of storeys

At present a property must have a minimum of three storeys, be occupied by five or more people and those five or more people must be formed of two or more households and there is sharing of a basic amenity (washing, toilet or cooking facilities). A single storey and two storey building is included within the definition.

To put this into context, for example, if a two storey house was let to five students or friends this property will need to be licensed.

Mandatory licensing covers flats above/below business premises where there are less than three flats in the building

Please note the requirement for there to be five or more occupants that comprise of two or more households and there is sharing of a basic amenity.

Mandatory national minimum room sizes

Minimum room size of 6.25 square metres for single room and 10.23 square metres for a double room. The room sizes are a compulsory condition on the licence. If a landlord is found renting out rooms that are smaller than the national minimum set sizes - the sanctions are an unlimited fine on conviction or a financial penalty of up to £30,000.

This means that any room found to be smaller than 6.25 square metres cannot be used for sleeping accommodation. If a room is below 10.23 square metres then the licence conditions will restrict it for habitation for 1 person only.

Minimum ceiling height of 1.5m

This means that any floor area of a room that has a ceiling height below 1.5 metres will not count towards the total room size.

Sanctions

The Local Authority has a legal duty to ensure all HMOs meeting the new criteria are licensed. If a property that should be licensed is discovered to be unlicensed, the Council may issue a Civil Penalty of up to £30,000. Alternatively the Council may choose to prosecute the owner, where upon conviction, the courts can impose an unlimited fine.

Fees

Information on the fee structure can be found by viewing our pdf icon HMO Licensing Fees [112kb].

Further Information

If you have any questions relating to mandatory licensing please email the Private Sector Housing Team at: private.sectorhousing@rother.gov.uk

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