8 October 2018
New rules that help protect more people in rented homes from poor living conditions and overcrowding have come into force this week from 1 October 2018.
All landlords who let out a property to five or more people – forming two or more separate households that share facilities, must get a licence from their local housing authority.
Previously, the rules only applied to properties of three or more storeys – but now all properties will be covered.
The clampdown is one of a number of government measures to rebalance the relationship between landlords and tenants. The vast majority of landlords provide decent accommodation, but these measures are about raising standards in private rented homes where landlords knowingly flout their responsibilities.
Under the new rules, all bedrooms must be at least 6.5 square metres and councils must ensure tenants have suitable space to store their rubbish outside homes.
Before a landlord gets a Houses in Multiple Occupation licence, they must prove to the council that they are a ‘fit and proper person and the property is in a suitable condition for the number of residents. Councils can put in place conditions about how the HMO is managed.
All HMOs with any number of storeys that have five or more tenants, who aren’t related, and who share facilities like kitchens or toilets, must have a licence.
If the HMO already has a licence under the council’s additional or selective licensing scheme, then the landlord will not need to apply for a new licence until it expires.
To obtain a licence or for more details, please contact the council on 01724 297000.
Cllr Rob Waltham, leader, North Lincolnshire Council, said:
“These new rules will help protect tenants from unscrupulous landlords. While the vast majority of landlords in North Lincolnshire are responsible, there are a minority who allow people to live in poor squalid conditions.
“The new licence that came into force this week will give tenants the reassurance they deserve when renting a property and also give landlords piece of mind knowing that they are providing good-quality homes for the thousands of people who rent.
“It is important that landlords get in touch with the council and obtain a licence. If they don’t, they could face prosecution.”