After one of many recent consultations concerning landlords, new HMO regulations will come into force in England under the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018 ("LHMO") in October 2018.
The LHMO revokes the previous description of properties to be subject to Houses in Multiple Occupation ("HMOs") and, thus, extends the scope of the mandatory licensing requirements relating to HMOs.
There are various categories of HMO as touched upon in my linked article below. HMOs are currently required to be licensed where they are over three storeys and are occupied by five or more people forming more than one household. Note there are separate rules for converted blocks of flats.
The LMHO 2018 will:
Remove the minimum number of storeys from the mandatory licensing requirements so that where a property is occupied by 5 or more people forming more than one household (i.e. not one large family living there) mandatory licensing will extend to this property regardless of the number of storeys.
Apply where the HMO satisfies either the "standard test" or the "converted building" test under the Housing Act 2004, or where the HMO satisfies the "self-contained flat" test under Act, save where it is a purpose-built flat situated in a block comprising three or more self-contained flats as these are subject to separate provisions.
Be subject to review by the Secretary of State, at least every five years.
There are also transitional provisions for HMOs that are already licensed under the selective licensing provisions, but which will be subject to mandatory licensing from 1 October 2018.
I will no doubt be writing more on this subject when the changes are applied.
For large HMO's (note the requirements are not considered here) the landlord must register property with the local authority and obtain a licence. However national mandatory licensing currently only applies if properties are three or more storeys.