Fifteen people were found living in an overcrowded and unlicensed house in multiple occupation raised by a team of police and housing officers after a tip from the UK Border Agency.
They found the three-storey flat in Balham, South London, had no fire safety precautions and furniture, rubbish and clothing was strewn over communal stairs; the only escape route in an emergency. Continue reading HMO raid uncovered 15 tenants living in a filthy flat
More than 2,000 Oxford landlords have had warning letters from the city council about repairs to carry out under the UK’s first blanket HMO licensing scheme.
The city has around 5,000 HMO properties and is at the vanguard of councils cracking down on HMOs.
Although councilors, residents and students back the scheme, landlords and letting agents have voiced issues over ‘petty repairs’ required by the council. Continue reading 2,000 student landlords warned over ‘poor’ standards
HMO landlord Lookman Adeyemi has been jailed for four months and ordered to pay £10,000 costs after admitting flouting fire safety rules after a blaze that killed a 29 year old mum and her three year old daughter.
The unlicensed shared house in Milton Keynes was set alight in an arson attack against another tenant by his spurned lover, who is serving a prison sentence for manslaughter. Continue reading Landlord jailed after mum and daughter die in arson blaze
A landlord who told a court he misunderstood shared house rules was fined £1,000 for failing to licence his property and fit fire safety equipment.
Anton McLoughlin, 47, thought he did not need a house in multiple occupation licence because although six tenants lived there, he had divided the property into three separate flats. Continue reading Landlord fined £1,000 after HMO licensing mix-up
As councils across the country ramp up their campaign against student landlords and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), the Residential Landlords Association and leading property solicitors claim tougher planning rules may not prove to be the answer to controlling shared homes.
The issue is a technical problem that may not be settled until a council rejects a planning application for a small HMO and the landlord takes the matter to appeal in front of a planning inspector. Continue reading HMO landlords wait for article 4 test case
On the 12th January, Councillor Jeremy Moulton set out the Southampton perspective in relation to Article 4 Directions taking away permitted development rights to change the use of single dwellings to small HMOs such as shared houses. The Residential Landlords Association, of which I am the Policy Director, has campaigned vigorously against the use of Article 4 Directions in this way and has called for a return to the old definition of a Class C3 dwelling which includes shared houses such as those occupied by groups of students, young professionals etc. Over 30 authorities have now made such directions, including Southampton City Council. Where these directions are in force a property owner has to apply for planning permission because they can no longer rely on permitted development rights. Often this will be refused. In our view 19 of these directions, including that made by Southampton, are far too wide and contravene Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) Guidelines. Continue reading Article 4 Directions – Different Perspective
Councillors are blaming student landlords for a shortage of affordable homes for families that is ‘distorting’ the housing market.
Now, councillors in Chichester, Sussex, are considering planning controls to stop landlords opening new houses in multiple occupation shared by students.
An internal council report claims student landlords cater for around 40% of the local university’s first-year students, when most universities offer beds to all their first year intake. Continue reading Landlords blamed for buying up family homes
Two landlords were fined £11,000 for breaking house in multiple occupation management rules.
After the successful prosecutions, Newport City Council, South Wales, has warned that local enforcement teams are cracking down on landlords who ignore housing laws.
In the first case, Saeed Zafar was found guilty in his absence by magistrates on charges of failing to licence an HMO and not running the property properly. Continue reading HMO landlords fined £11,000 for mismanaging properties
Dozens of firms offer to help shared house landlords claim thousands of pounds in lost tax reliefs – but does the lost relief really exist?
The confusion surrounds houses in multiple occupation – HMOs – which are homes where several tenants have their own rooms, but share cooking and bathroom facilities.
Tax rules ban claiming capital items, like boilers and fire safety equipment in residential property unless they are in communal areas. Continue reading Are HMO landlords really missing out on tax relief?
The countdown has begun to the start of the UK’s first HMO blanket licensing scheme that starts in Oxford.
From January 30, every landlord letting a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in the Oxford City Council area must apply to licence the property.
The order covers small HMOs for three to five unrelated tenants as well as larger HMOs that already need compulsory licensing. Continue reading First Blanket HMO Licensing Scheme Starts in Oxford