A consultation document has been launched seeking views on extending mandatory licensing to HMOs with five or more occupiers, regardless of the number of floors. As the consultation asks if it should be for two floors, or regardless of the number of floors, it sounds like the decision to change has been made and the only question is what the change will be. The consultation also asks if the section 257 HMOs (blocks of flats converted not complaint with 1991 building regs and less than 2/3 owner occupied) should be brought within the mandatory licensing regime.
There are several other changes in the consultation including changes to selective licensing (licensing for non HMOs) and trying to streamline the licence application process.
The consultation also considers a minimum bedroom size of 6.5 square meters, making some small room unsuitable for letting and potentially reducing landlord's income.
If agreed the changes would be brought in during 2016. The consultation run till 18th December 2015.