The Government have a new set of rules for landlords with respect to houses of multiple occupation. These have been in place as of the 1st of October 2018. The new rules work alongside further legislation from the last five years. Put in place by the Government. The letting Industry has had to deal with two lots of legislation every year for the last five years.
Does this affect you?
If your property has five or more occupants from two or more separate households, then yes, depending on the following. If the property is either a converted building with living accommodation or self-contained flat this will affect you. If you have a purpose built flat you are lucky because it doesn’t apply.
This then takes over from previous legislation. It also takes away the three storey rule which no longer applies. If you have a property you will now need to apply for a mandatory HMO licence from the 1st of October. Not only are there heavy fines for anyone renting these premises out without a licence. It is also more than likely that any local authority will refuse in the future to give you a licence to rent it out.
However, there are more new rules!
The minimum bedroom space will be 6.51 sq metres for a single bedroom. For rooms occupied by two adults the size required is at least 10.22 sq metres. Rooms housing children 10 or below need to be at least 4.64 sq metres.
What else do Landlords have to do?
Well, the list isn’t endless. It does depend on your local authority. There are items such as having adequate bins for the property.
Minimum Electrical Requirements.
Our advice would be to talk to the local authority to find out the requirements. Most authorities have also included their own selective licencing. This means that they can pick areas where they enforce certain properties to have certain minimum requirements. Then, of course, there is the dreaded fee! Is this just another stealth tax? Fees can range dramatically from £400.00 upwards.
Landlords of existing properties will be given up to 18 months to make the required changes when re-applying for a licence. Check with your local authority before doing so.
When will the Government stop introducing more and more legislation on landlords? Are these good provisions for tenants? Are they out there to reduce overcrowding? Will, it puts landlords off in the future letting out properties to multiple tenants?
For landlords, it is important to ensure that your property has a licence. In the event that it doesn’t and there was an incident you may not be able to claim. Our advice is to speak to your local authority and find out what’s required.
Author; Mark Harrington
Date; 21st of February 2019