New HMO regulations from October 2018

Landlords need to be aware that the government is launching new regulations for HMO’s (Houses of Multiple Occupation) from October 2018. With significant growth in the private rented sector and many landlords converting smaller properties for use as HMO’s the government has decided to extend its mandatory licensing in England to cover properties where five or more unrelated tenants share facilities regardless of the number of floors in the building. Councils are being given tough new powers to tackle the small minority of rogue landlords who rent out overcrowded properties and impose fines of up to £30,000 for those landlords who do not comply. From October councils will be able to set minimum bedroom size standards and introduce limits on how many people can live in each bedroom of a licenced multiple occupancy home. Councils will be able to use national minimum standards or apply even tougher requirements in order to address specific local needs. This move will help ensure tenants have the space they need and deserve as well as reduce health and safety risks they face by sharing cooking and washing facilities with too many people. The new standards will apply to all landlords seeking new licences. Landlords of existing properties will be given up to 18 months to make necessary changes when re-applying for a licence when it expires. In a move to stop rubbish piling up outside some shared rented homes, often presenting health risks and blighting neighbourhoods, landlords will also be required to provide adequate waste storage facilities in line with their local authority’s rules. If they fail to do so they could face a fine. These latest measures build on wider government action to drive up standards in the private rented sector by tackling bad landlords. This includes the launch of a new database of rogue landlords and introduction of banning orders for the worst offenders coming into force in April 2018. In February this year we saw new legislation introduced requiring more landlords to obtain a licence from their council. Landlords of 1 and 2-storey multiple occupancy properties will be brought within scope of mandatory licensing requirements across England, affecting roughly 160,000 additional properties. The government is clearly tightening up on Landlords so make sure you are compliant or face the consequences. If you’re a tenant and have any concerns about your landlord and want to check the new Rogue Landlord database or even report a rogue landlord go to: –

www.london.gov.uk/rogue-landlord-checker

 

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