Crawley Borough Council is urging landlords of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) to apply for a licence before new legislation comes into force on 1 October 2018.
Landlords of HMOs with five or more occupants forming two or more households need to apply for a licence before this date under the Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Mandatory Conditions of Licenses) (England) Regulations 2018.
Failure to do so by Monday 1 October will be a criminal offence.
Currently, compulsory licensing only covers HMO properties of three storeys or more with five or more occupants forming two or more households. Crawley has 55 licensed HMOs.
However, the new regulations will cover all properties that are let to five or more occupants forming two or more households and the council has assessed that another 460 properties may need to be licensed.
The new licence fees are the same as the existing HMO licence fees. Landlords are urged to apply for their licences as soon as possible because delays in applying may lead to longer waits.
Councillor Michael Jones, Cabinet member for Housing at Crawley Borough Council, said: “I’d urge landlords of HMOs to get in touch as soon as possible so licences can be granted well before the new law comes into effect.
“Council officers will inspect every licensable HMO upon receipt of the landlord’s licence application so it’s vital that landlords apply now to avoid the rush come 1 October.
“The welfare of tenants in Crawley is a strong priority for the council and we look forward to working with landlords to ensure the new licensing system is a great success.”