April 2018 government legislation changes to HMOs and EPCs

Spring 2018 brings with it changes to Government legislation on Houses of Multiple Occupation and Energy Performance Certificates in rented accommodation.

HMO Legislation changes

The Government is proposing changes to take effect in spring 2018, that will increase the number of properties that are subject to licensing. These include:

  • the removal of the three-storey rule;
  • the inclusion of flats that are located above / below commercial premises;
  • a minimum room size requirement of 6.52 sq.m, in line with the current standard for overcrowding (Housing Act 1985). This is likely to be 10 sq.m for HMOs in which tenants have their own bathroom but share other facilities i.e, a kitchen.

Energy Performance Certificate – Minimum Level of Energy Efficiency changes

There is no obligation to obtain an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on a bedsit or a room in a house in multiple occupation (HMO) that is not self-contained.

However, if the property was bought within the past ten years or was previously rented out on a whole-property basis, it may have an EPC covering the property as a whole.

From 1st April 2018, if the property has an EPC rating of F or G, the owner/landlord will not be able to issue new tenancies for non-self-contained units, until steps are taken to comply with new regulations. (This also applies to properties that continue to be let from 1st April 2020.)

See our related article: Renting out rooms in your own home