11:03 AM, 18th October 2016, About 5 years ago 27
The Government has proposed a minimum room size of 6.5 sq metres (70 sq feet) for a rented room in an HMO.
This is in an effort to stop tenants from being crammed into overcrowded properties and to set minimum standards creating a level playing field for good landlords. This proposal will only relate to properties in England.
The Housing Act 1985 does specify minimum floor area requirements, but in tribunal case lost by Oxford Council last year it was ruled that the standards could only be a form of guidance and not a legal requirement.
The government has said it wants to make the new minimum floor area mandatory along with other proposals to help councils bring an end to ruthless landlords who exploit tenants and charge them extortionate rents to live in poor conditions.
The consultation paper published yesterday also include extending mandatory licensing rules for HMOs to flats above shops and other business premises, requiring landlords to provide decent storage and disposal of rubbish, and tightening up the ‘fit and proper person’ test to be a landlord.
Gavin Barwell, housing and planning minister said “in order to build a country that truly works for everyone we must ensure that everyone has somewhere safe and secure to live.”
“These measures will give councils the powers they need to tackle poor quality rental homes in their area. By driving out rogue landlords that flout the rules of business, we are raising standards and giving tenants the protection they need.”
In a response to these new proposals the RLA Policy Director, David Smith, said in a press release, “we agree that tackling criminal landlords must be a priority.”
“We wait to see the full details, but powers are already available to tackle overcrowding which is about the number of people crammed into a room, not the size of a room.”
“What is needed is proper enforcement of existing powers.”
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