Housing Minister Alok Sharma has announced that, subject to
parliamentary clearance, landlords renting properties in England
occupied by 5 or more people, from 2 or more separate households
will need to be licensed.
The announcement was made in response to consultation issued in October
2016 on Houses in Multiple Occupation and residential property
There are around 4.3 million households in the private rented
sector in England, with around 500,000 houses in multiple
The current scheme of mandatory licensing for HMO's only applies
if properties are 3 or more storeys. This is being changed so flats
and one/two-storey properties will be brought within the scope of
the mandatory licensing scheme.
In addition rooms used for sleeping by 1 adult will have to be
no smaller than 6.51 square metres, and those slept in by 2 adults
will have to be no smaller than 10.22 square metres. Rooms slept in
by children of 10 years and younger will have to be no smaller than
4.64 square metres.
The licence must specify the maximum number of persons (if any)
who may occupy any room and the total number across the different
rooms must be the same as the number of persons for whom the
property is suitable to live in.
The new licensing rules only apply to houses in multiple
occupation in England and DCLG say it will affect around 160,000
Government has also set out details of criminal offences which
will automatically ban someone from being a landlord. From April
next year, someone convicted of offences such as burglary and
stalking can be added to the database of rogue landlords and be
barred from renting properties. These proposals are made in the Government's response to earlier consultation on
proposed banning order offences under the Housing and Planning Act