The law comes into force on 1 October this year and has been brought in to improve the standards of private shared housing.

It means that landlords must apply for a House in Multiple Occupation licence before this date, otherwise they could be subject to council enforcement action.

The new requirement applies to landlords who are renting out a property of any number of storeys, occupied by five or more people who are unrelated, and who share kitchen and bathroom facilities. Previously only properties of three or more storeys with five or more occupants required a licence.

If landlords do not apply for a licence by October 1, they will be committing an offence and will be open to enforcement action.

The new regulations introduce a statutory standard regarding  minimum  bedroom sizes. The regulations also require landlords to provide adequate facilities for storing refuse and recycling.

Licence holders must also ensure fire risks are identified and that fire equipment is properly maintained. In particular, landlords have a duty to ensure fire alarm systems are installed, maintained and tested properly.

"These new standards have been anticipated for a while and are being put in place to improve housing conditions and ensure people are living in safe and appropriate accommodation," explains Councillor Jane Kilby, Cabinet Member for Housing at Chichester District Council. "We want to make sure that landlords are aware of this new legislation so that they can get their application in to us in plenty of time before 1 October.

"Our Environmental Housing team is happy to answer questions about the new regulations from landlords, agents and tenants. The number for them to call is 01243 534570."

Landlords can find out more information on the housing pages

Date of release: 28 August 2018

Reference: 3833