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LANDLORDS URGED TO REGISTER BEFORE LAW CHANGES

Island landlords are being reminded that from 1st October Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) of any number of storeys, with 5 or more occupants will require licensing.

Previously only buildings of 3 or more storeys, with 5 or more occupants needed a licence.

Under national changes, minimum sizes for rooms used for sleeping will also be brought in. The new minimum sleeping room sizes allowable for licensed HMOs will be 10.22 square metres for 2 people sharing and 6.51 square metres for a single person.

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HMOs on the Island are licensed by the Isle of Wight Council.

Councillor Barry Abraham, Cabinet member for planning and housing has said:

“Our extension of the mandatory licensing scheme is in response to a welcome change in the law nationally, due to come into force in the autumn.

“We hope this change will cover those properties that had not come under the scheme before and get rid of poor quality sleeping areas in HMOs, once and for all. I would urge landlords to come forward before the law changes, to register.”

Landlords of HMOs are urged to apply for a licence before the new legislation comes into force. Those who have failed to gain the required license by 1st October may face criminal prosecution or a civil penalty of up to £30,000 after this date.

The new licence fees are the same as the current HMO licensing fees.

Landlords of HMO’s should contact the council’s Housing Renewal Section for more information and to obtain a licensing pack via email [email protected] or telephone 01983 823040.

Further information around the new legislation can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/houses-in-multiple-occupation-and-residential-property-licensing-reform-guidance-for-local-housing-authorities.

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