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HMO rules come into force this month

Words: Laura Edgar
House in multiple occupation / iStock: 538776816

New rules for houses in multiple occupation (HMO) have come into force to protect 850,000 more people who rent privately from poor living conditions and overcrowding.

Landlords that let out a property to five or more people – from two or more separate households that share facilities – are required to get a licence from their local housing authority.

The rules previously applied to properties of three or more storeys.

The government is hoping this measure and a number of others will help to rebalance the relationship between landlords and tenants.

The rules mean that all bedrooms must be at least 6.5 square metres in size. Councils must make sure that tenants have suitable space to store rubbish outside homes.

Housing minister Heather Wheeler said: “Everyone renting a home has the right to expect it is maintained to a decent standard.

“Extending licensing to 170,000 more properties will ensure people benefit from better quality accommodation across the country.”

The government said there are currently about 60,000 HMOs that require a licence, which will increase by another 170,000 as a result of the new rules.

The rules came into force on 1 October.

Read more:

Illegal HMO uncovered as London council continues enforcement crackdown

Image credit | iStock