Calling all Landlords! Having an HMO, (house in multiple occupation) can be very profitable .  By letting properties out as shared households, rather than just to one family. 


However, since 1st October 2018 tighter restrictions have been put in place that cannot be ignored. 


The new restrictions have been made surprisingly simple with some exceptions, of course. 


Whether you are covered by the new regulations will depend on issues such as how big your HMO is, how many people it can accommodate and how big it is both in terms of the number of floors of the building, and the floor space of each individual room.  In order to obtain a licence, you will need to show you can provide certain facilities, such as the number of bins and storage facilities for waste.   Exceptions from the need to have a licence include properties that are purpose-built blocks of flats consisting of 3 or more units.


So how does it work?


If you already have an existing HMO licence this will continue to be valid until the licence expiration date, which is usually around 5 years following the date of issue. After that date you’ll need to apply for a new licence, under the new regulations.  If you currently let out an HMO that didn’t previously require a licence, then you must apply asap through your local council.  You are already a bit behind, but better late than never!


As long as the above are complied with there will be no risk of any breach but if your property doesn’t comply, you cannot have a licence and so cannot let your property out as an HMO. 


Landlords that breach these conditions (ie either let out properties without a licence, or have a licence that they don’t comply with) can face both criminal and civil sanctions.  It can end up costing you much more than you think you’ll make in rental income.


If you need help working out if you need an HMO licence, and if so, how to get one, drop us a line at and we’ll help you work out how to measure up to the new regulations.


Kleyman and co solicitors. The full service law firm.  Letting you be happy!