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Landlords property licence

With effect from 06/04/2006 new legislation will come into force which will require anyone who manages houses in multiple occupation (HMO) to have a compulsory property licence. If you are a landlord which needs to prepare for these changes then you can read our property licence page or continue to read on for the keyfacts with regards to this huge change in the law. The government say that the reason for this imposed licence is to improve the living conditions of those in multiple occupation properties.

What is a house of multiple occupations?

Generally any property which is three or more storeys(including basements and attics used for accommodation) which is occupied by five more more tenants(making up two or more households) will require a property licence.

When will I need a HMO property licence?

As pointed out above, HMO property licenses are going to be compulsory as from the 6th April 2006 but the government have outlined a 3 month grace period to allow landlords time to arrange their licence. If you still fail to apply for the HMO licence within this time period then you will incur a penalty upto a £20,000 fine!

Why is property licensing coming into effect?

In an attempt to improve the general living conditions of those occupying HMO properties the government have introduced the compulsory property licensing scheme. The general condition of properties and facilities let under these circumstances are often considered to be less than desirable and the government feel that regulation will ensure that properties are safe and appropriate for the tenants.

How much is a property licence going to cost me?

The cost of HMO property licenses have been left in the hands of the local housing authority of each district to decide on, however the government have outlined that the scheme will not be used as a money maker but instead simply to cover the costs of maintaining the scheme which may obviously include the costs of pursuing landlords who refuse to pay for a property licence or meet the requirements.

I wasn't aware of the new property licence laws!

The government started an advertisment campaign at least a month before the new regulations were due to come into force, they have also allowed a three month grace period. Some local authorities have reportedly carried out their own advertisments to make landlords aware of the changes. Denial of knowledge with regards to the property licence requirements for a HMO will more than likely be an unacceptable excuse.