Landlords in Charnwood are being warned to make sure they are complying with new laws around Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).
From October 1, 2018 strict new rules introduced by the government mean that the majority of smaller properties being used as HMOs will now have to be licensed with the local council otherwise landlords could face fines.
Currently, properties must be licensed as HMOs if they are three or more storeys and are occupied by five or more people forming two or more households sharing amenities.
The new rules coming into force on October 1 state that a licence is required for HMOs of any size where there are five or more people forming two or more households where facilities are shared – thereby removing the three-storey criteria.
There are currently 367 licensed HMOs in Charnwood. There are other HMOs which may not require a licence but do require planning permission.
Cllr Margaret Smidowicz, lead member for licensing at Charnwood Borough Council, said: “We have been working with local letting agents and property owners to inform them about the changes because we do not want anyone to fall foul of the new laws.
“The law change essentially means more properties will need to be licensed and it is the duty of landlords to comply.
“We would urge landlords to check if they need to register a property under the new rules as otherwise after October 1 they risk action being taken against them.”
Landlords who fail to license a HMO risk being fined thousands of pounds, prosecuted or being prevented from letting homes.
To find out more, or to apply for a HMO licence, please visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/register_hmo_licences
If you are unsure or think your property may be exempt from licensing please contact the Council’s private sector housing team on 01509 634651 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Landlords are required to license each property and the cost to apply is £610 for the first licence and then £500 thereafter. The licences last for five years.
Licences are cheaper for landlords accredited with the DASH accreditation scheme which aims to raise standards among private rented property. For more information on DASH, please visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/private_landlords
For more information about the planning rules around HMOs in Charnwood, please visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/hmo