New Government powers to ban landlords and additional HMO regulations

New Government powers to ban landlords and additional HMO regulations

9:17 AM, 29th December 2017, About 4 years ago 44

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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.”


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


by Robert Mellors

12:33 PM, 30th December 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 30/12/2017 - 12:15
The Council are also forcing the rents up by their delays and errors which lead to rent arrears and evictions. I have had instances where Councils have taken over a year to make a Housing Benefit decision, during which time the tenants have had insufficient HB so have got into massive rent arrears. I try to be patient as I know that the Council are at fault, not the tenant, but in the meantime I still have all the outgoings to pay for, so how am I supposed to do that if the rent is not coming in???

As a "not for profit" company, the rent I charge is a reflection of my estimated costs, so if the full rent is not coming in, then how can I be expected to provide the services that I've included in the costings (e.g. repairs, maintenance, intensive housing management, rubbish removal service, etc, etc)?

Every additional cost imposed on landlords, or caused by the Council/DWP's delays/errors, ultimately pushes up the rent that has to be charged to tenants.

It is not landlords being greedy, as so wrongly portrayed by the media, it is the increasing financial burdens being forced on landlords that is causing the rent increases (and thus also the increases in the welfare benefit bill for the nation).

by Yvonne Francis

13:05 PM, 30th December 2017, About 4 years ago

Lias there are lots of protections out there for tenants from deposit schemes to Envionmental Health Departments for all types of letting and especially strong if you live in a HMO. You as a tenant should use them.

When, I ask myself, are Landlords going to bite back and campaign against legislation which makes one person responsible for another's actions? Not only has this post highlighted the waste disposal problem but in a HMO the landlord is responsible for the cleanliness of communal areas even on a shared tenancy. I could be fined for my tenants dirty cookers!! even though they were professionally cleaned at the start of their tenancy. What justice is that?. I have seen lots of TV films where they film the filth and then say 'no one should live like this' . Yes they are right but don't say if this is how the property was at the start of the tenancy and automatically blame the landlord.

As to room sizes. Would it not be better to sleep in a small space than on the streets? Just take a look at Hong Kong. They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Exactly who do the government think they are helping?

by Puzzler

17:30 PM, 30th December 2017, About 4 years ago

Is that for real? While I can see it as a concept, how would it work? A landlord with several properties (or not) gets a conviction. What happens to the tenants? Does he have to give them notice? How is that going to be enforced? Can a conviction prevent a person making a living? The sentence is supposed to be the punishment, there is not supposed to be consequent penalisation. What happens to any mortgages with no rent coming in?

by AA

19:29 PM, 30th December 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Puzzler at 30/12/2017 - 17:30
Of course its not for real - this would contravene the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

by Robert Mellors

23:50 PM, 30th December 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Asif Ahmed at 30/12/2017 - 19:29
Banning a landlord from letting properties would not be a contravention of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act. It would also not prevent the landlord from earning a living doing other work.

However, I do agree with Puzzler that it would pose some difficulties for enforcement, e.g. what happens to the tenants??? Does the landlord have to evict them and make them homeless? Will the local council take over the management of the property - that would be interesting, as they would then be legally responsible for prosecuting themselves for any breaches of HMO Regs, as well as having all the financial responsibilities (e.g. paying the mortgage). Or would they have to evict and then re-house the tenants in all the social housing they don't have anymore because they've sold it all?!!!! - I guess the Government haven't really thought this through properly.

by David Price

4:45 AM, 31st December 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 30/12/2017 - 23:50
I think that the unforeseen consequences are of little interest to this government, it wishes to make the letting environment so hostile for landlords that we all give up and sell to first time buyers. Tenants are an unfortunate casualty of this war on landlords.

by Mick Roberts

5:59 AM, 31st December 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 30/12/2017 - 12:33
Wow, your council is shocking Rob, have u taken 'em to the Ombudsman lately? There again, Ombudsman lately is useless due to all the cutbacks, they seem to not want to take any case on.

Yes, the tenants seem to think not their problem if HB aren't paying, don't they, they think Magic Landlord can pay their mortgage no matter what.

Yes Yvonne, last week on the BBC news, there was a story on Rogue Landlords, & it had a massive pile of washing, messy dirty bed etc. And if people actually thought & said something, how is that washing the Landlords fault? Just created what looked like a good story against bad landlords.

Yes Puzzler, I thought the same, let's say I get a conviction for mistakenly handling stolen goods, where's all my tenants gonna' go?

What about rehabilitation? Aren't we supposed to helping offenders re-start again? Again anti-Landlord.

Ha ha yes Robs, the Council don't think of these things at all, do they. Proper Numptees.

by AA

7:59 AM, 31st December 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Robert Mellors at 30/12/2017 - 23:50
I think it would contravene the 1974 act absolutely. The whole purpose of the act is not to marginalise people if they slip up in life It is not sufficient to say they can find other work. The Exceptions Order 1975 requires disclosure of expired offences basis work or material interaction or exposure to children / venerable adults etc . I am hardly a bad landlord if I am charged with driving without due care and attention. ( Could not help it, I saw George Osbourne crossing the road and for some mysterious reason I mistook the accelerator as the break pedal.)

by Gary Dully

13:49 PM, 1st January 2018, About 4 years ago

If you are put on a database for whatever, how long before you come off it?
Are we classed as sex offenders now or worse?

by AA

17:57 PM, 1st January 2018, About 4 years ago

You are permanently on the database but you don't have to disclose it if the Exceptions Order does not apply. There is slightly more detail involved regarding level of penalty and how it is recorded but generally speaking if you are on it you stay on it.

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