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Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs)

Suffolk Coastal District Council HMO licence application form Waveney District Council HMO licence application form

Attention all landlords – do you own or manage a shared house? If so, you need to read this… mandatory licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation is coming.

The law relating to shared houses or houses in multiple occupation is changing. By 1st October 2018, landlords of most Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) that house five or more people and not a single household will need to have applied for an HMO licence.

A landlord who fails to apply for a licence by that date will be committing a criminal offence.

What are the proposed changes?

  • All HMOs with five or more people living in two or more households, regardless of the number of storeys in the property, will need to be licensed. This includes any flat which contains five or more people living in two or more households where the flat has not been purpose-built to multiple occupant standards. This applies to flats above or below commercial premises.
  • All licensable HMOs will have a national minimum room size for each bedroom

What happens if I already have a licence from my local council?

Properties already licensed with the local council will be “passported” into the new mandatory licensing and will not need to take further action.

Applications need to be made before the new rules come in on 1st October 2018. Landlords should start reviewing their properties now in preparation for the changes.

How do I apply for a licence?

You will need to complete an application form and return it to us with the fee and the required certificates (detailed on the application form). The fee is £655.00 plus £21.00 for every bedroom over five.

If you are unsure of whether your property needs a licence please call us on 01394 444506 or contact us by email at ps.housing@eastsuffolk.gov.uk

What is a House in Multiple Occupation?

A House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is a property which is occupied by a number of people that are not living together as a family unit.  This could include student accommodation or a shared house or lodging arrangement. It can also include more established properties including bedsits, properties with shared bathrooms and kitchens, etc.

This type of accommodation is classed a ‘higher risk’ that an average family home due to the types of living arrangements. Larger HMOs require a licence to control issues such as fire risk, anti-social behaviour and overcrowding.

Do I need planning permission?

If you are thinking about converting your premises to an HMO, whether large or small, you first need to consult our Planning Team who will advise whether you will also need to change the use of the property.

Do I need building regulation approval?

If you are thinking about converting your premises to an HMO, whether large or small you first need to consult the Building Control team who will advise whether you will also need to change the use of the property.

Further information