New regulations will force thousands of buy-to-let investors to become House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) landlords from October 1, 2018.
The rules will also affect existing HMO landlords, who will have to ensure their properties meet new minimum standards.
Currently an HMO licence is only required for properties with three or more storeys that are occupied by five or more people from at least two households.
However, from October 1, 2018 this will be extended to all properties that are occupied by five or more people from two or more households regardless of the size of the property.
Licences are issued by the local council and are usually valid for five years.
The new regulations also bring mandatory conditions relating to minimum sleeping room sizes, number of occupants and the provision of refuse disposal facilities.
The rationale behind HMO licensing is to tackle poor housing conditions in the private rented sector as licences stipulate strict safety standards with which landlords must comply.
Landlords with existing properties will be given up to 18 months to make necessary changes when re-applying for an expiring licence.
If you are unsure how these changes may affect you, please contact Hayley Eachus, who has expert knowledge to assist both landlords and tenants, by calling 01256 854633 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.