HMO licensing in Westminster

12 Oct 2021

On 31 August, the City Council introduced a new licensing scheme for Homes in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

In our consultation response and subsequent meetings and letters with WCC, the WPA has stated our strong support for measures which improve the safety and security of housing in Westminster and welcomed the principles of the new HMO regime. However, we raised concern about the way the regime is currently drafted – including that a far larger proportion of the rental market is captured than may have been originally intended. This includes small homes and those occupied by flat sharers, which would now be faced with unnecessary regulation, causing unintended impacts to the local housing market.

Cllr Heather Acton (WCC’s Cabinet Member for Communities & Regeneration) has written to the Association explaining that the HMO licensing regime has been amended to remove the requirement for S.257 HMOs to be licensed under the Additional Licensing Scheme. Read the letter here, with more information provided on the council’s website here.

Officers have also written to confirm that properties with a carer, au pair and other forms of ‘live in’ help are considered a single household and would not be captured by the new scheme. The relevant regulations can be found here.