Important Changes to the Law for Houses of Multiple Occupancy


Houses of Multiple Occupation From 1 October 2018, the legislation for Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) is due to change.

The mandatory licensing states that the current ‘storey-height’ criteria will be removed. This means any privately rented HMO that is occupied by five or more people who form two or more separate households, and who share basic amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet, will require a license.

This is regardless of the number of storeys the property has. The Arun District Council website contains further information regarding the definition of an HMO. These properties must have a licence to operate.

Landlords, who don’t already have a current licence, must submit a full valid application for a licence before 1 October 2018. It is an offence to operate such a property without a licence or fail to comply with any conditions.

The government has also introduced minimum sleeping room sizes and waste disposal requirements which will be included as license conditions.

If you already have an existing HMO licence, this will remain valid and its conditions will apply until the date the licence expires.

The extended mandatory licensing conditions (minimum sleeping room sizes and waste disposal requirements) will ONLY apply from the renewal of the existing licence.

To apply for a license landlords will need to complete an HMO application form which can be found on the Arun District Council’s website, the website also includes information about the fees that are applicable, depending on the type and size of property and the minimum standards that the property is required to meet in regards to room sizes, facilities and other safety measures.

Councillor Stephen Haymes, Cabinet Member for Technical Services said, “The Council is committed to ensuring standards within the private rented sector are improved and it is important landlords apply to the council before 1 October to ensure they have the required license.”
For further information please visit the Council’s website, contact Arun Direct on 01903 737755 or email