Mandatory HMO Licensing Part 1: Extension of the scheme

The Mandatory HMO Licensing scheme is being extended. Are you and your HMOs affected? Find out here.

What’s changing?

  1. Extension of Mandatory Licensing
  2. Introduction of minimum room sizes
  3. New rules for rubbish

When is it changing?

Monday 1 October 2018.

Extension of Mandatory Licensing


In less than three weeks, mandatory licensing of HMOs is being extended to any landlord who lets a property to five or more people, from two or more separate households, sharing basic amenities.

Previously, the scheme was restricted to larger properties of three or more storeys. The change in the law extends the scheme to include many smaller HMOs regardless of the number of storeys.


As with all these things, some HMOs which meet the above definition may be excluded from mandatory licensing, in particular:

Purpose-built, multi-occupied flats in a block of 3+
A purpose-built flat in multiple occupation situated in a block comprising three or more self-contained flats.

Converted blocks of flats known as Section 257 HMOs.
These are defined as:
A building or part of a building converted into self-contained flats AND

  • The standard of conversion does not comply with the appropriate building standards
  • Less than two-thirds of the flats are owner-occupied

Mandatory licensing of these HMOs does not automatically apply; instead they are subject to management regulation, although individual flats within the block will require a mandatory licence if they meet standard HMO tests (yes! It's complicated, so check with your local authority). 

Even if a property does not require a Mandatory Licence, it may still need a licence! i.e. either an Additional Licence or a Selective Licence.

We can’t tell you what type of licence you’ll need. To find out you’ll have to seek clarification from your local authority.

If you already have an additional or selective licence, you do not need to reapply until the existing licence expires. Only the existing licence conditions will be enforceable.

Landlords must apply to their local authority for a licence for each HMO BEFORE 1 OCTOBER 2018 in order to comply with the rules. Failure to apply for a licence is a criminal offence. You could be prosecuted and even fined up to £30,000.

Today is 11 September, which means you have nearly three weeks to apply. Visit the website of your local authority for more specific information for your area.

I hope this helps! In my next blog, I will cover what you need to know about new conditions which are being introduced within the Mandatory HMO Licensing Scheme, specifically, the introduction of minimum sleeping room sizes and rules covering waste disposal.

In the meantime, if you have any specific questions about the licensing changes, do talk to your local authority. And of course, if you have any financing requirements, particularly for purchasing or remortgaging an HMO – regardless of whether or not it needs a licence, call us! We look forward to helping you. We specialise in sourcing finance for HMOs and we’ll match your requirements to the right lender.

Our main line is 0345 345 6788 and we are open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 6pm. If these times are not convenient, do REQUEST A CALLBACK to arrange a suitable time.


Read Part 2 Now
New minimum bedroom sizes and rules for the disposal of waste. Here’s what you need to know...


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