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Mandatory licensing for HMOs is extended

Changes to mandatory Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing come into force in England today, requiring properties with five or more occupants in two or more households to be licensed.

The HMO changes will collectively cost buy-to-let landlords in the region of £79m, according to research carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

The study, conducted on behalf of Currys PC World Business, found that licence fees alone will hit landlords in England with an average bill of £1,027 each - £495 per property.


Under the new rules, mandatory HMO licensing has been extended to almost all HMOs that are occupied by five or more people and where there is some sharing of facilities, and that is expected to affect more than 160,000 properties.

The licensing scheme was previously restricted to properties that were three or more storeys in height.

The move means councils can now take further action to crack down on the small minority of landlords renting out substandard and overcrowded homes.

The Cebr estimates that local authorities stand to receive around £243,070 on average from the new license fees.

It also believes that landlords will have to spend about three hours per property applying for licences, familiarising themselves with legislation and taking time out to facilitate property inspections.

New rules have also come into force setting minimum size requirements for bedrooms in HMOs to prevent overcrowding, while landlords are also now required to adhere to council refuse schemes to reduce problems with rubbish.

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    In Glasgow, HMO licences have been needed for over 10 years whenever 3 or more unrelated adults live together, this applying to most student flats. It's largely been a good thing for reputable landlords with well maintained properties and has driven out most rogue landlords. During these 10 years I have seen rents in a 4 bed HMO flat grow from around £750 to £2100 per month - so basically good news for landlords with high quality in demand properties.


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