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
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
In the last year it has become very clear that many Local Authorities are looking very carefully at Private Sector Landlords and the various aspects of licensing.
Some Councils have considered Selective Licensing, a discretionary scheme that allows local authorities to introduce licensing for all privately rented properties, with a charge, in a given area. Others have examined Additional Licensing, which is basically extending Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO) licensing to smaller properties. Continue reading HMO licence fees up 650 percent
Article 4 Directions for managing HMOs will only work if they are accompanied by good planning policies – a Southampton perspective
By Guest Columnist Cllr Jeremy Moulton, Conservative Councillor for Freemantle Ward
On 23rd March Southampton City Council will join a number of other councils who have implemented new planning rules, called an Article 4 Direction, which governs houses in multiple occupational (HMOs). This will mean that landlords looking to convert an existing family home to an HMO will require planning permission. Currently only HMOs with more than 6 tenants need planning permission but the new rules will also apply to ones with 3 to 6 unrelated people. Continue reading Article 4 Directions – a Southampton Perspective
Local councils have lost their fight in the courts to overturn the government’s house in multiple occupation planning laws.
After a bitter and long-running dispute, the Court of Appeal has rejected their challenge and ruled housing minister Grant Shapps made a considered and fair decision to reverse planning laws rushed in by the outgoing Labour Government in April 2010. Continue reading Appeal Court Rejects HMO Legal Challenge
A rogue landlord was fined £8,000 for failing to maintain standards at a shared house that was taken over by a council.
Ken Herring, 66, admitted four offences of not complying with house in multiple occupation rules before Oxford Magistrates. Continue reading HMO Landlords Fined for Flouting Fire Safety Rules
"HMOs could be restricted in Portsmouth"
Councils are imposing arcane planning rules in an attempt to stop student landlords opening new shared houses.
Landlords in Portsmouth face a seemingly impossible rule – they cannot switch a family home to a shared house if the number of shared houses in any area is already 10% or more of the number of homes.
One student redevelopment has already been rejected because of the rule as the seven-person house would have meant 30% of houses on the street would be HMOs (Houses in multiple occupation).
The HMO planning strategy is part of a citywide development blueprint before the Communities and Local Government Department for approval. Although the CLG has yet to comment on the rule, the council can impose the guideline until it is approved or rejected. Continue reading HMO Planning Rules Confuse Student Landlords
Disgruntled landlords have paid out £315,000 fees in a year to comply with a council’s new house in multiple occupation licensing scheme.
Cardiff City Council has billed the landlords for 824 licence applications in the Cathays neighbourhood, a favourite haunt for students at the city’s universities. Continue reading Landlords upset over paying £315,000 HMO fees to council
Rising tuition fees are not affecting bookings for the next academic year for Britain’s largest student landlord, the Unite Group.
In a trading statement to investors, the company has revealed room reservations for the 2011-2012 year are already ahead of last year – with 73% of bed spaces booked. Continue reading Rising fees fail to dent student lettings, says Unite
Pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith has launched a short consultation period asking for views on planned change from landlords, organisations and individuals.
Thousands of singles could be looking for shared house accommodation as controversial proposals limiting housing benefit for young adults have taken a step forward with a Government announcement today. Continue reading Landlords can have say over housing benefit changes