An HMO exisits where there are 3 or more occupiers living in the same property, not members of the same household (not related) and sharing facilities. There is a separate definition where a building comprises of converted self-contained flats and the standard of convefrsion does not meet the 1991 Building Regulations and more than a third of the flats are let under an AST.
Since the Housing Act 2004 came into force it has been a requirement that large HMOs are licensed under mandatory licensing. Currently mandatory licensing applies nationwide to HMOs that:
The government has now decided to extend the scope of mandatory licensing to bring smaller HMOs within the scheme. Mandatory licensing will include all HMOs with 5 or more occupiers living in 2 or more households regardless of the number of storeys. Effectively this means the storey requirement will be removed from the current definition.
Landlords will be expected to apply for a licence by 1st October 2018, please check on your local authorities website for the application process, some local authorities are not geared up yet for this change in legislation and need to incorporate this change in the application process.