The licensing laws for shared flats and houses changed from the 1st April 2019 and the implications of these changes are far-reaching for landlords and tenants. The law change affects House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and changes how the licences are granted and managed.
Landlords applying for new HMO licences under the scheme will need to satisfy additional criteria to obtain a licence. The landlord will need to show that the shared accommodation meets certain standards, that the landlord is a fit and proper person and that the property has valid statutory consents to be used as a HMO.
Having been granted a licence, the landlord will need to adhere to the licence conditions. These conditions relate to the general management of the HMO and measures to deal with anti-social behavior. Additional conditions can be added to the licence by the Council and interested parties can report to the Council if these conditions are not being met.
The enforcement penalties for breaching HMO licences or operating a HMO in the absence of a valid licence include prosecution and fines of up to £20,000.
Oonagh Murdock, one of our Property Solicitors recently presented at the RICS CPD day in connection with the legislation changes and our Property Team have experience of dealing with HMO properties before and after introduction of the new legislation. Please contact our team if you have any queries.