The Law is Changing!


 We would like to remind all Island landlords that from 1 October 2018, the rules regarding Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO’s) are changing.  Maher Ross has already discussed the new regulations in detail with our own landlords however - we understand that there are a large number of the Island’s landlords that remain completely unaware of the change.

The New Criteria

From the 1st October 2018 onwards, the mandatory licensing criteria includes any HMO regardless of the number of storeys in a building. Previously, the criteria was that only HMO’s of three storeys or more with five or more occupants, needed a license.

With effect from 1 October 2018 mandatory licensing of HMOs will be extended so that smaller properties used as HMOs in England which house 5 people or more in 2 or more separate households will in many cases require a licence.

Company lets are NOT exempt.

New mandatory conditions to be included in licences have also been introduced, prescribing national minimum sizes for rooms used as sleeping accommodation and requiring landlords to adhere to council refuse schemes.

The minimum sleeping room sizes allowable for licensed HMOs as 10.22 square metres for two people sharing and 6.51 square metres for a single person.

Landlords of HMOs are urged to apply for a licence before the new legislation comes into force. Those who have failed to gain the required license by October 1 may face criminal prosecution or a civil penalty of up to £30,000 after this date.

HMOs on the Island are licensed by the Isle of Wight Council; specifically under the reins of Alan Barnes (tel. 821000).

Why is this Happening?

Some argue that the point of the tightening of HMO legislation is simply to generate revenue. However, Graham Jolliffe, Director of Maher Ross said:

“Maher Ross sets very high standards for all of the rental accommodation we provide however elsewhere, we are aware that there are a large number of Island properties that simply don’t meet even the most basic safety standards.  Whilst I’m sure this legislation will simply be an additional administrative burden for our own responsible landlords, Island tenants are likely to see a number of benefits - not least that the Council may now be able to insist on the safety and overcrowding improvements they need.”

If you would like more information on how to make your own property “HMO compliant”, or would simply Maher Ross to manage your own property, please contact Graham on 01983 563000

Further government information can be found at:

We are grateful to the Isle of Wight County Press for some of the information contained in this article: