New licencing law affects businesses with staff accommodation

10 May 2006
New licencing law affects businesses with staff accommodation

Hospitality businesses that provide shared accommodation for their staff could be forced to be licensed as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

A new ruling that comes into force on 6 July will require landlords of residential properties, which fit criteria such as having three or more tenants who form two or more households, to acquire an HMO licence.

However, critics claim the rules, which are laid out on the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister's website (now the Department for Communities and local Government), are overly complex.

Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said HMO licensing could prove complicated for those involved.

"In the case of ascertaining what qualifies as a three-storey property, local authorities will likely have different interpretations of split-level properties or those that have mezzanine floors," he said.

Couchman said he had no idea of how many BHA members could be affected at this point, but it is understood that approximately 30,000 industry employees are currently accommodated by their employer.

"The best thing is for businesses to get in touch with their local council if they are in any doubt over whether they need a licence" he advised.

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By Louise Durack

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