Changes to Houses in Multiple Occupation Mortgage licences

Thursday, 14th June, 2018

The rate of change across the mortgage market really is astonishing (yet another reason to use a mortgage broker!), and this time it’s Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licences that have come under scrutiny – and that are set to change from 1 October 2018.

For those who don’t know, the UK government defines a HMO as:

A property rented out by at least three people who are not from one ‘household’ (e.g. a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen. It’s sometimes called a ‘house share’.

A good example of a HMO is a student property. 

What’s changing?



Pre-October 2018


Landlords require a HMO licence if their property:

  • Is rented to five or more people who form more than one household
  • Is at least 3 storeys high
  • Includes tenants who share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities

Post-October 2018


Landlords will require a licence if the property is only two storeys high.

Landlords will also have to ensure that:

  • The floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged over 10 years is not less than 6.51 square metres
  • The floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by two persons aged over 10 years is not less than 10.22 square metres
  • The floor area of any room in the HMO used as sleeping accommodation by one person aged under 10 years is not less than 4.64 square metres
  • Any room in the HMO with a floor area of less than 4.64 square metres is not used as sleeping accommodation

The Residential Landlords Association estimates that this change will make an additional 177,000 HMOs become subject to licencing, which will impact on a substantial number of landlords across the UK.

I’m a HMO landlord – what does this mean for me?

  • Rooms that fail to comply with the new minimum requirements cannot be let
  • Those depending on renting all of their current rooms out – including those that will be deemed too small as of October 2018 – in order to make HMO mortgage repayments may find that the new rules make their investment less viable
  • Fewer lending options when it comes to applying for a HMO mortgage

What can I do to get HMO-ready? 

As a Guildford mortgage broker, Complete Mortgages is well placed to get you equipped for the forthcoming change by a) exploring – in detail – how it could affect you, and b) looking at ways in which to mitigate the changes by ensuring you have the appropriate HMO mortgage in place.

With almost four months until the changeover, there is plenty of time to make any necessary changes to your current mortgage.

What should I do next?

Whether you’re interested in arranging a new HMO mortgage, looking to explore your buy to let mortgage options or simply want to remortgage, Complete Mortgages can help. Contact the Complete Mortgages team on 01483 238280 or email to find out more.

By Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages