The Licensing of HMOs (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018

by Readers Question

6 months ago

The Licensing of HMOs (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018

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The Licensing of HMOs (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018

Hi All, Just had this piece of new legislation pointed out to me by a client. Although I heard Sajid Javid’s sabre rattling around Christmas, I hadn’t heard much more on it since. The new piece of legislation, made 20/02/2018 and laid before parliament 23/02/2018 appears to be coming in to force 01/10/2018 and would also appear to have been rushed through (was anyone aware of a consultation on this?)

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/221/made

It appears to be removing the 3 floor limit from the original HMO regulations. However, appears a little lacking in detail.

There has been talk of minimum room sizes if licensing comes in as well as hard wired fire detection systems, minimum work surface sizes etc. Has anyone got any further details of this? Anticipated costs? Will it remove the need for local councils to invoke Selective Licensing and thus have a standardised set of rules country wide (not necessarily a bad thing!)

My portfolio and most of my clients are HMO Student Landlords, but non-licensable currently due to the 3 floor element, so this does have significant implications for my clients as well as myself. I have always used the local authority amenity standards and fire regulations as a guide on how to make a house in to a HMO, so hope to be ahead of the game, and have always recommended this to clients. However, have the local schemes that some LL’s have been subjected to had any strange ‘requests’ added in to them that they could share?

Wayne



Comments

AA

6 months ago

Look at the Scottish model. That s where the proposals have been tested. All doors must be FD30 rated with smoke seals and door closers. Smoke / heat / Co detectors tested weekly and a log kept. Annual fire risk assessments. Fire fighting equipment certified and tested annually. Thumb turn locks if you have mortice locks. Carpets with good quality underlay ......

Rob Crawford

6 months ago

Yes- I can remember the consultation end of 2016 I think - so not rushed! We were expecting the changes in Nov 2017 the Jan 2018 and then by April 2018. I would have thought the min room size requirement would become statutory at the same time as this Housing Act 2004 announcement. Maybe another Statutory Instrument notice will be released in the next couple of days that addresses this for Housing Act 1985 section 326.

Anon

6 months ago

They should make a distinction between multi-let HMO, where each room has its own lock and a group of friends (who know each other) sharing a home....

Renting is not longer a passive activity (under tax rules). They should allow landlords to incorporate without any drama.

Rob Thomas

5 months ago

Reply to the comment left by AA at 26/02/2018 - 19:47
AA - you make a good point about the crazy level of regulation in Scotland, and clearly England is heading in the same direction under this so-called Conservative government.

Here is the Scottish government guide for renting out HMOs (their definition being a property with 3 or more unrelated sharers, in other words an ordinary house with three sharers is an HMO).
http://www.gov.scot/resource/doc/47060/0028721.pdf

The level of extra work involved in simply keeping track of all these requirements makes this a completely different proposition. The Scottish government has taken a simple business of renting to a few sharers and turned into a bureaucratic minefield.

The consequences are obviously. Many people who were prepared to let good quality accommodation to three sharers will now see that it is not worth the hassle, so the supply of rented accommodation for sharers will drop. Landlords that do continue to let out property will need to be compensated for the extra time and cost of complying with these rules, so rents will rise.

Let me give one example of the crazy rules:
"The number of electrical socket outlets should meet at least the following minimum requirements:
• 6 in each kitchen
• 4 in each bedroom and living room
• 4 additional sockets anywhere in the building."

If a rented property doesn't have this level of sockets, then the landlord will have to pay for extra sockets whether the tenants want them or not.

When in this country did we get the idea that bureaucrats should decide every aspect of our lives, even down to the number of electrical sockets.

D

3 months ago

This is of interest to the matter:

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/should-the-government-debate-a-law-which-will-reduce-housing-supply-at-this-time-of-housing-shortage

I suggest you encourage your HMO Landlords, and, more importantly, their tenants, to sign it.
Regards,
D

Rob Crawford

3 months ago

With regard to HMO Room Size Regulation:

The regulation is here, the 18 month transition is different than stated in the draft and it comes into force in October: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukdsi/2018/9780111167359/regulation/2

The regulation now provisions (Para 1A5 & 1B) for Councils to determine the transition period from the “date of notification” of a breach (not the start of the regulation). This period should not exceed 18 months. However, the period commences from the point of “notification” as opposed to when the regulation comes into force in Oct 2018.

I suspect that where a landlord is “notified” as being in breach after Oct 2018 then the notification period issued by the council could in actual fact be less than 18 months. It will be at their discretion.

So if after the introduction of the regulation in Oct a breach is noted in say April 2019, the landlord may actually have less than 18 months to make the change from the date of “notification”. Say 18 minus 7 months.

Or we could end up with a longer transition 18 months from notification 7 plus 18 months!

Some clarification required here from local Councils.

Mick Roberts

A month ago

Can you Landlords please sign this & forward to all your contacts.
A small hope, we have to try anything & everything.

I'm sure we not get 10k signatures, but the more Licensing & Govt start to see these things, who knows.

“Petition calling for a review of Nottingham City Councils Selective Licensing."
https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/223039


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