Views sought to help shape standards for shared houses and flats in Essex

Find out about the consultation to help shape standards for shared houses and flats


Those who live in, own or let a shared house or flat in the private housing sector were encouraged to have their say on proposed standards for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in Essex by taking part in an online consultation.

The survey ran until 19 June 2018. Responses fed into new county-wide HMO standards which were updated in preparation for new licensing laws that applied to HMOs from 1 October 2018.

To prepare for the change to the law, CBC worked with partner councils across Essex, to improve the required standards of shared accommodation and revise amenity standards guidelines, such as room sizes and shared facilities, to move in line with the changes to the law. Local and district councils decided whether thousands of HMOs across Essex are suitable to be licensed, having regard to the new guidance on HMO amenity standards.

CBC consulted with as broad a selection of the community as possible. Tenants of HMOs, landlords, property managers and those who represent any of these groups were particularly encouraged to take part. The new guidance helped inform which HMOs under the new law are suitable to be licensed and gave everyone affected by the changes a meaningful say in how they were implemented.

The new HMO licensing laws were set to increase the number of HMOs requiring a licence and were likely to affect hundreds of properties across the borough. They introduced the need for many properties which have not previously required a licence to have one. From 1 October 2018, all homes let to five or more people who form two or more households (a household constitutes members of the same family) and who share at least one basic amenity such as a bathroom, WC or kitchen, required a licence to continue operating.

To find out more about HMO licensing in Colchester following the consultation. 

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