Isle of Wight Houses of Multiple Occupation may require licencing

Island landlords are being reminded that from October 1 Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) of any number of storeys, with five or more occupants will require licensing.

Previously only buildings of three or more storeys, with five or more occupants needed a licence.

Under government national changes, minimum sizes for rooms used for sleeping will also be brought in. HMOs on the Island are licensed by the Isle of Wight Council.

Isle of Wight County Hall

Councillor Barry Abraham, Cabinet member for planning and housing said: “Our extension of the mandatory licensing scheme is in response to a welcome change in the law nationally, due to come into force in the autumn”

“We hope this change will cover those properties that had not come under the scheme before and get rid of poor quality sleeping areas in HMOs, once and for all. I would urge landlords to come forward before the law changes, to register.”

From 1 October 2018 the mandatory licensing criteria is changing to include 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.

Further legislation passed by the government sets 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 1 October may face criminal prosecution or a civil penalty of up to £30,000 after this date.

The new licence fees are the same as the current HMO licensing fees.

Landlords of HMO’s should contact the council’s Housing Renewal Section for more information and to obtain a licensing pack via email: or telephone (01983) 823040.