Is legislation forcing people to live on the streets?

Is legislation forcing people to live on the streets?

9:25 AM, 2nd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago 7

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I am exasperated by my situation and navigating the never ending legislation forcing landlords to evict, sell or face a criminal conviction.
The great majority of landlords, to my knowledge, are normal caring people.

We want to help others by providing accommodation for a fair price. We want to treat tenants fairly and we want them to treat us the same way.

As new rules come into force, I now find myself housing fewer tenants in HMOs because the smaller rooms are 20cms too short to let. I can’t apply for a licence for 5 tenants because I already house 4 without a licence and a licence would only allow 4. One room must be kept empty.

I had the same situation in another property so had to knock two rooms into one to make a studio flat for one person. (Only 4 allowed to share in an unlicenced HMO).

The same with 2 other houses. 4 rooms have been taken off the market in 8 years because of new rules, taking out 4 homes, with the knock effect.

I also rent out garages. One renter who stores and fixes motorbikes in there, but has no home so sleeps in the garage! It is cheap at £100pm and provides a roof over his head. Do I, in all conscience, tell him to leave and sleep on the street???

The charities Crisis and Shelter are pushing for more rigorous legislation but not realising that they are causing fewer rentals to come on the market, with the subsequent price increases and homelessness.

People are sleeping in tents and vans and the government are forcing landlords to sell up and restrict supply. If the banning of Section 21 actually happens, the floodgates will open. My MP was horrified when I told my tale and yet she has been part of the government responsible for this mad state of affairs.

I want to help, but the rules prevent that happening, unless I want a criminal conviction??!!! I am sure I am not the only landlord in this position?


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Jo Westlake

11:08 AM, 2nd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

The minimum room size causes all sorts of issues. Especially now the floor area isn't the only thing that counts. I've had to a widen a dormer in one HMO to keep that room compliant. The floor area is still exactly the same but sloping ceilings suddenly became a problem.
I've had to move walls to gain an extra few centimetres in another couple of rooms. A bathroom has been reduced to a shower room purely to enlarge a bedroom to keep it lettable. Either way it's still a small room. Before the work was carried out those rooms were cheap small rooms that let incredibly easily. Now they're more expensive small rooms which are harder to let. The only winner was the government raking in more VAT on the building work.


12:05 PM, 2nd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Jo Westlake at 02/04/2024 - 11:08
These stupid rules are reducing the property available.
I have 2 bed houses and for years I used to happily let to 3 sharers which also made it a lot cheaper for them but now I can only let to 2 people.
With 3 people this was not overcrowding they each have 2 reception rooms and a large kitchen.
Instead of solving the homeless problem they are causing it.

Fed-up Landlord

18:54 PM, 2nd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

It's The law of Unintended Consequences at work.
just a pity nobody in government understands this

David Houghton

21:58 PM, 2nd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Yep, know the feeling. Just for info, if you take dss and they have two rooms exclusive possession they are entitled to 1 bed lha rate

Peter Merrick

0:27 AM, 3rd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Fed-up Landlord at 02/04/2024 - 18:54
Are you sure they don't know or understand the consequences? I have several 3 bed + 2 reception room houses with 4 tenants, but I am quite sure that before too long the minimum room size will also apply to these and at least two of them will no longer be viable without increasing the rent a fair bit. One of them I could get away with using both reception rooms as bedrooms and keep the small bedroom as a social area, but the other I would have to remove the upstairs shower room and hope I can get away with keeping the toilet. So these days I always consider the size of the smallest room even if I'm only going to be letting out 4 rooms.

Charlotte Valles

8:35 AM, 3rd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

I’ve had the same issues re reducing 5 sharing to 4 - in 2016 we had to ask several couples sharing to leave.

A friend in London who has a three bed flat was restricted by new by-laws which only allowed 2 people to share.

These are hundreds of lost rooms across the country.

Meanwhile local rules insist minimum room sizes of 7m2 when the national minimum is 6.5m2 - more rooms lost or left empty pushing up prices and reducing availability. I have told my local MP and tried to correspond with housing charities like Shelter- no response yet.

Reluctant Landlord

9:27 AM, 3rd April 2024, About 2 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Charlotte Valles at 03/04/2024 - 08:35
keep us posted please - I'd be interested in their response. Or, if your properties are in an areas where Labour are already in (or potentially will be) wait till after the GE and fire off a letter then. If they plan on making housing a 'top priority' they need to be told how its going to be worse under them if they don't revisit this.

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