Landlords with properties in County Durham are being encouraged to check whether they need a licence ahead of upcoming changes to legislation.
Rules around Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are set to extend to more properties from 1 October 2018 – and the changes may be particularly relevant for landlords of student houses.
From that date, a HMO licence will be required if a property is occupied by five people or more in two separate households, regardless of the number of storeys in the building. Previously, this only applied if the property was three storeys or more.
A single household means either an individual (including a student) or a family unit.
The rules apply to any HMO which is a building or a converted flat where householders share basic amenities like a toilet or cooking facilities, and purpose built flats where there are up to two flats in the block and one or both are occupied as a HMO.
Landlords whose property now requires a licence must apply before Monday 1 October and are being warned there is no grace period after this date.
However, those landlords who already have a current license under a local authority mandatory or additional licensing scheme, as well as landlords who have a selective licence, will not need to apply for a new license until their current license expires even if that is after 1 October 2018.
Joanne Waller, head of environment, health and consumer protection, said:
“This new legislation will bring many more properties under the HMO licensing regime and we would remind all landlords in the county to check whether they now need to be registered.
“We take our duty to regulate HMOs very seriously as we know licensing leads to improved property conditions for residents living in this type of accommodation”
Source: Sun FM