The Government is planning to bring in changes to the HMO licensing requirements next year. Its proposals include removing the three-storey rule, applying a minimum room size of 6.52 sq metres for one person and 10.23 square metres for two people, licensing for all properties with 5 or more people and to flats above and below shops and other business premises. It is estimated that the new measures would bring another 174,000 properties into the scope of mandatory licensing.
The RLA (Residential Landlords Association) believes many of the changes are not necessary and will put a huge strain on local authorities. They have voiced their concerns in a formal response to the Government consultation. RLA Policy Director, David Smith, said “The consultation documents assume that maintaining the status quo is not an option. If this is the case, the RLA is asking that any changes to existing legislation are kept to an absolute minimum. Local Authorities already struggle to enforce the current mandatory licensing requirements, and in the face of further budget savings their ability to police an extension that will bring hundreds of thousands of homes into the regime is questionable.”