Landlords with properties in the Sevenoaks District are being urged to prepare for changes to the rules governing Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) with more properties now requiring a licence to operate.
Under the current arrangements, a HMO licence is required for residential properties over three or more floors with ‘common areas’ such as lounge and kitchen areas that are shared by more than one household.
But from October 1, all HMOs with five or more people with two or more family units will require a licence.
The government estimates that the changes will mean an extra 160,000 properties will need to be licensed in England. Sevenoaks District Council estimates that up to 69 additional properties will need to be licensed across the District.
The new legislation also introduces minimum space standards for bedrooms. Where minimum space standards are not being met, councils can give the landlord up to 18 months to rectify the situation. Landlords must now also provide adequate containers for the storage and disposal of household waste produced at the property.
Cllr Michelle Lowe, Sevenoaks District Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Health, says: “The changes to the HMO law bring in new minimum standards of accommodation, and this could be good news for all tenants who live in these types of property. However, I would urge landlords who believe they may be affected by these changes to contact us as soon as possible.
“Although landlords could face fines for not complying with the new HMO legislation, we will do all we can to make the process of applying for a licence before 1 October 2018 as easy as possible, helping them to stay on the right side of the law.”
For more information on the changes and to make an application, contact Sevenoaks District Council on 01732 227000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org