New legislation will be coming into force on Monday 1 October requiring landlords across the country to hold a licence for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) under new terms.
The new law is an amendment to the 2006 regulations made under the Housing Act and requires landlords who manage an HMO of any number of storeys, occupied by five or more people who are not from the same family, to hold a licence.
A house in multiple occupation can include, but is not limited to:
· a house let as individual bed sitting rooms
· a group of rooms on each floor let to single occupants
· hostels, some hotels, guest houses
· lodgings and shared houses
· houses converted into self-contained flats
· 5 bedroom house being rented to 5 single people, sharing facilities
· 4 bedroom house being rented to a non-married couple and 3 single people, sharing facilities
There are also extra requirements being put in place for existing houses in multiple occupation to include minimum sleeping room sizes and the provision of waste facilities.
Landlords who have a property which is currently classed as an HMO, or those who are in the process of setting up a rental property which falls within this category, are required to apply for a licence.
Cllr Donald Nannestad, Portfolio Holder for Quality Housing at City of Lincoln Council, said: "If you are a landlord in Lincoln and have a house in multiple occupation, you will be required by law to have a licence if you have more than five or more people living in the same house, but who are not from the same family unit.
“It is important that landlords are aware of the penalties as failure to apply for a licence could result in a significant fine or tenants claiming back up to 12 months of rent repayments. It would also mean that landlords are unable to serve a Section 21 notice to seek possession by evicting tenants.
“It is expected that there will be an additional 600 licence applications in Lincoln as a result of the new legislation, so we have introduced an online HMO licensing portal which will make the application process for a licence easy and accessible through any computer or device with an internet connection.
“There will be a fee payable on application of the licence, but we are offering a 35% reduction on this fee for Trusted Landlords.”
The Trusted Landlord Scheme works with accreditation schemes including the Lincoln Student Housing Accreditation Scheme, DASH, NLA landlord accreditation and RLA Landlord accreditation to promote good practice in property management and keep landlords up to date on the latest news. For more information, visit www.lincoln.gov.uk/trustedlandlord.
To apply for an HMO licence, visit https://housinglicensing.lincoln.gov.uk/.