September 2018

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Published on 17 September 2018

Landlords encouraged to be ready for HMO law changes

Teignbridge is advising landlords and letting agents to ensure they are aware of changes in the law for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in England, which come into force on 1 October 2018.

The new rules mean that if you rent out a property in multiple occupancy, you may be required by law to obtain an HMO licence.

A house in multiple occupation is a property rented out by at least five or more people who are not from one household (e.g. a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. It’s sometimes called a ‘house share’.

You must have a licence if you’re renting out a large HMO in England or Wales and HMO landlords need to apply for a licence before the regulations come into force on 1 October 2018.

Under previous laws, licensable HMOs were buildings of three or more storeys, containing five or more people, of which two or more are of different households.

The new HMO legislation removes the rule of ‘three or more storeys’. Licences are now required regardless of how many storeys a property has.

From 1 October 2018 licences are required to be in place for all HMOs that:

  • Are rented to five or more people
  • Are rented to people living in two or more households
  • Have residents who share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

Any landlords or letting agents of HMOs that are operating and are found not properly licenced could face either prosecution or a civil penalty.

Cllr Humphrey Clemens, Teignbridge District Council’s Executive Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing, said:

“Teignbridge works hard with landlords to make sure people continue to have safe and decent places to live. We know many landlords and agents provide quality accommodation but navigating the various legislation can be tricky. Part of the work we do involves helping them ensure they comply with legislative requirements and better understand health and safety regulations so housing conditions remain good for their tenants.

“The changes are significant for anyone renting houses in multiple occupation and we would urge them to apply now if they have not done so or contact us if they have any questions.”

For more information go to Renting our Property

To apply for a licence go to

For more information about licensing go to

Any landlords or letting agents that wish to speak with a Teignbridge Housing officer can phone 01626 215202.