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Licence changes for landlords with multiple tenants

Published Friday 24 August 2018

Landlords in the Harborough district are being urged to make sure they are complying with new laws around Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

As part of changes to Government legislation, from 1 October 2018, landlords who rent out a property with five or more unrelated tenants living in it will now need a licence from the council – regardless of the number of storeys.

Previously, a licence was required for landlords renting out HMOs which were three or more storeys high. However the new legislation means HMOs with one or two storeys or more, including flats, will be subject to a licence. This includes any HMO where occupants lack or share basic amenities such as a toilet, bathroom or cooking facilities.

Landlords, who own an HMO under the new definition, must make an application for a licence before 1 October 2018.  Landlords who fail to license an HMO risk being fined thousands of pounds, prosecuted or being prevented from letting homes.

It’s hoped the changes will offer greater protection to tenants of HMOs and improve standards nationally in the private rented sector.

Councillor Jonathan Bateman, environment and regulatory spokesman at Harborough District Council, said: “We are working with letting agents, property owners and others to inform them about the changes because we don’t want anyone to fall foul of the new laws.”

Find out more information on landlord responsibilities – including how to apply for a licence – on Harborough District Council’s website at www.harborough.gov.uk/multiple-occupation 

Tenants who are concerned their landlord is not licensed, or want to report any issues with their landlord’s property, can do so via an online form at www.harborough.gov.uk/multiple-occupation