Time is running out for landlords in Hertsmere who may need to apply for a licence under new regulations affecting Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
From October 1, private sector landlords who rent out properties or flats of any size occupied by five or more people in more than one household will have to apply for an HMO licence from the borough council.
Previously, only landlords with properties of three or more storeys needed a licence, but the new legislation could mean an extra 300 properties in the borough require a licence.
There are now new minimum room sizes, so rooms below the minimum size can still be rented out.
Failure to do so could result in the landlord facing criminal prosecution and a fine of thousands of pounds.
The council has prosecuted landlords in the past for failing to get a licence, including a Potters Bar man who did not get a licence for an HMO for five years.
The new legislation, announced in December, also means anyone who has been convicted of offences such as burglary and stalking will be added to a national database of rogue landlords and barred from renting out properties.
Councillor Jean Heywood, Portfolio Holder for Housing, said: “It is very important that landlords check whether they need a licence under the new HMO regulations as failing to do so could result in criminal prosecution.
“The new rules will enable us to ensure that landlords in private and social housing are providing homes that meet basic living standards and are safe, secure, well-maintained homes.
“We are confident that the majority of the landlords we work with meet those criteria.”
To find out more about the changes and how to apply for an HMO licence see our website www.hertsmere.gov.uk/HMO or contact our private sector housing officer on 020 8207 2277.
Posted on Monday 24th September 2018