New Government powers to ban landlords and additional HMO regulations

by Neil Patterson

8 months ago

New Government powers to ban landlords and additional HMO regulations

Make Text Bigger
New Government powers to ban landlords and additional HMO regulations

From April 2018 any landlord convicted for the criminal offences of blackmail, theft,  handling stolen goods, harassment and stalking will automatically be banned from letting out property and added to the new rogue landlords database.

In addition Housing Minister, Alok Sharma, has introduced new HMO regulations set to be passed by Parliament confirming all properties occupied by 5 or more people from 2 or more separate households will face mandatory licensing.

The new HMO regulations will include:

  • Minimum bedroom size requirements (to prevent overcrowding). Rooms used for sleeping by a single adult will have to be no smaller than 6.51sqm, and those occupied by two adults will have to measure at least 10.22sqm. Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger will have to be at least 4.64sqm in size.
  • Responsibility falling on landlords to ensure the council’s rules on refuse and recycling are adhered to.
  • Additional powers to be given to local authorities for cracking down on over-crowded and sub-standard homes.

The government has estimated this will bring 160,000 into the licensing regime.

Alok Sharma said: “Every tenant has a right to a safe, secure and decent home, but far too many are being exploited by unscrupulous landlords who profit from providing overcrowded, squalid and sometimes dangerous homes.

“Enough is enough, and so I’m putting these rogue landlords on notice. Shape up or ship out of the rental business. Through a raft of new powers we are giving councils the further tools they need to crack down these rogue landlords and kick them out of the business for good.”

The RLA policy on this was previously spelt out by David Smith saying: “Councils are already struggling to enforce licensing schemes and the extension will potentially triple the number of homes under mandatory licensing.

“What is the point in introducing extra regulations if there are no resources to enforce them?

“Tenants should not be forced into excessively small rooms, but there are cases where tenants have other space available within their properties, which should be taken into account. By concentrating so narrowly on bedroom size the Government could knock thousands of rooms out of the sector, potentially forcing tenants out of their homes.”

**EDITORS NOTE**

The image previously used in connection with this article has been amended following complaints. No offence was ever intended. An apology has been published via https://www.property118.com/apology-auschwitz-memorial-auschwitzmuseum/



Comments

Francis Drake

8 months ago

What about a database for rogue tenants

Gary Nock

8 months ago

Another load of Generation Rent Vote Winning Rhetoric. Whilst
we should all welcome getting rid of rogue agents and below standard properties the sheer amount of haphazard poorly co-ordinated anti- rental policies coming out is threatening the number of rental units available at a time when more are needed. No wonder landlords are selling up.

Martin Roberts

8 months ago

Agree with the comments above, and just how can the landlord be responsible for tennant's recycling and rubbish?

Without calling at the property the day before collection and sorting it all out for them the landlord will now be open to a fine for the tennant's actions.

Ahhhh... Some useful money for the council.

AA

8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Martin Roberts at 29/12/2017 - 10:44
You cant be held responsible for someone else's actions. We are not running hotel's. This Alok Sharma is basically disclosing he does not know his head from his **** on the subject matter. There is more than sufficient legislation out there already. New legislation only affects those already compliant. Those that do not comply already are hardly going to rush to get their house in order.

AA

8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Francis Drake at 29/12/2017 - 10:16
Someone could get very very rich with this suggestion.

terry sullivan

8 months ago

a conservative govt--i think not! in fact i know not!

Andrew Stacey

8 months ago

I was forced to sell property due to the housing crisis and the unlawful actions of West Bromwich Building Society. Fortunately with help of property 118's class action I was able to keep my head above water and hang on to my last investment property. I was hoping to start buying property again, but looking at all this legislation and costs, I am having second thoughts !! I really don't get the governments logic.

Ross Tulloch

8 months ago

So where will all the people happily living in rooms smaller than the 6.52m go, when these rooms have to be permanently unlived in? Has anyone counted how many of these there will be?

David Price

8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Asif Ahmed at 29/12/2017 - 11:01
Try Landlord referencing (http://www.landlordreferencing.co.uk/) their tenant database goes back many years.

Mandy Thomson

8 months ago

Firstly, on the fit and property person criteria - we should have had this years ago, as a landlord usually holds keys to a tenant's home, and being a home provider is a position of enormous responsibility.

Where HMO room size is concerned, at first glance, the new minimum seems reasonable - 6.51 sqm is a pretty small room. However, factors other than room size need to be taken into account, such as how much storage there is outside the room; is the living arrangement a bedsit situation where the occupants will be spending most of their time in the room, or are there other spaces in the property that provide relaxation away from the room; is there just a conventional bed or can the room also be used as a lounge (clever use of space allows even a very small room to be used for multiple purposes). On the other hand, even a very large room that isn't arranged very well in which someone has to spend most of their time is less than ideal.

As for the landlord controlling rubbish storage and collection, it needs to be remembered that there are in fact 3 types of HMO (excepting, of course section 257 HMOs, which for practical purposes aren't really HMOs at all and many councils don't licence them; is this changing under the new regs?): "bedsits" which are let on ASTs by the room; a live in landlord who lets more than 2 rooms to lodgers and unrelated friends letting under a joint tenancy.

It goes without saying that a live in landlord should have control over what goes on in his or her home, including the rubbish arrangements, and a landlord who lets by the room on separate ASTs has the same kind of control over the common areas of the property, but a landlord who lets on a joint tenancy can only set down rules and guidance then hope the tenants comply - they have no more day to day control than a landlord who lets to one household.

I haven't yet seen these new regulations in detail, but I doubt the government have taken these different HMO scenarios into account.

1 2 5

Leave Comments

Please Log-In OR Become a member to reply to comments or subscribe to new comment notifications.

Forgotten your password?

OR

BECOME A MEMBER

Outcome of a consultation with Insight

The Landlords Union

Become a Member, it's FREE

Our mission is to facilitate the sharing of best practice amongst UK landlords, tenants and letting agents

Learn More