Tag Archives: Shared Houses

HMO Confusion Could Costs Landlords Fines of £50,000 HMO's & Student Lets, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management

Planning and licensing rules for shared houses could be an expensive trap for landlords as some councils take on new powers.

Property investors can face fines of up to £50,000 for making mistakes – and the rules vary depending on where the letting property is located.

Three sets of rules apply to small houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), which are homes shared by between three and five tenants.

The problem is not all the rules apply nationwide – and in some cities, they only apply to certain streets or neighbourhoods. Continue reading HMO Confusion Could Costs Landlords Fines of £50,000


£1,600 Fine for Landlord Who Ignored Licence Warnings HMO's & Student Lets, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Market News

"North-East landlord fined for not getting his licences"

A landlord who ignored repeated warnings from a council that he should licence his property was fined £1,600.

Leon White was also ordered to pay costs of £709 in his absence after failing to attend the hearing at Teesside Magistrates Court.

He faced a charge of failing to licence a house in a selective licensing area.

The prosecution follows a crackdown on landlords by Middlesbrough Council in the Gresham neighbourhood after the area was designated for selective licensing in a bid to improve housing standards and antisocial behaviour.

All landlords who let property in the area must have a licence before taking in tenants. The court heard White ignored letters asking him to contact the council about licensing his property.

Councillor Julia Rostron, Executive Member for Community Protection, said: “The majority of landlords in Middlesbrough take their responsibilities seriously, but there are a few who show little or no interest in managing their properties responsibly.

“A small minority of landlords continue to let their properties without carrying out relevant referencing for prospective tenants.

“Designating a selective licensing area helps the council to deal with rogue landlords while tackling poor behaviour which seriously affects the lives of local residents.

“We are happy to work with landlords, but enforcement action will be taken when all other avenues have been explored.”

Several other prosecution cases are pending.

Meanwhile, councillors in Inverness have had a flood of complaints about shared houses. Around 180 businesses protested about 10 shared houses licensed for 149 tenants in streets around the city centre.

The business owners complained that litter, antisocial behaviour and crime has increased and are having a negative impact on shoppers.

However, the Highland Homeless Trust which manages the properties, claims that any trouble and the residents could not be linked.

Business Improvement District spokesman Craig Duncan said businesses supported the council calling a halt on licensing shared houses in the area and were calling for planning restrictions on new shared houses.


HMO Planning Rules Confuse Student Landlords HMO's & Student Lets, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management, Property Investment News

House made from jigsaw pieces

"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


Landlords forced out of housing benefit market Buy to Let News, Latest Articles

NLA logo colourAs MPs debated the Welfare Reform Bill at report stage on Monday, 13 June, a survey by the National Landlords Association (NLA) had already revealed that more than half of private residential landlords are planning to reduce the number of properties they let to tenants on housing benefits.

Around 450,000 homes are let to tenants on housing benefit but more than half (58%) of the landlords questioned said they would have to cut the number of properties they let to tenants paid housing benefits, with 90% planning to do so in the next 18 months and one third stating they would do so immediately. Continue reading Landlords forced out of housing benefit market


Landlords launch legal challenges over HMO licensing HMO's & Student Lets, Latest Articles

Old wooden Gavel Hundreds of landlords are mounting two legal challenges against council policies over planning and licensing for shared houses.

Landlords in Accrington, Lancashire and Margate, Kent, are preparing cases for judicial review in the High Court to force their local councils to rethink how they enforce house in multiple occupation (HMO) laws.

Continue reading Landlords launch legal challenges over HMO licensing


VAT’s the problem for property developers Latest Articles, Tax & Accountancy

VAT Sign on piles of coinsHow to handle VAT on labour and materials for property conversions is a recurring problem for landlords and property developers.

The question pops up regularly from property investors who have ventured in to shared house conversions.

Shared houses, or houses in multiple occupation (HMO) present special planning, VAT and tax problems as they are wrapped up in extra legislation controlling health and safety.

Continue reading VAT’s the problem for property developers


Commercial conversions boost for HMO developers HMO's & Student Lets, Latest Articles, Property Development

Property investors could profit from government plans to encourage development of empty offices in to new housing.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has announced proposals to remove planning restrictions to stimulate the developments – and the move is a good fit with councils seeking to dilute concentrations of shared houses in residential areas. Continue reading Commercial conversions boost for HMO developers


Singles forced to share as benefit rules change HMO's & Student Lets, Latest Articles, Lettings & Management

Shared house landlords can expect a surge in inquiries from tenants as the government changes the rules on paying housing benefit to singles.

From January, singles aged under 35-years-old can only ask for cash to cover sharing a room in a house in multiple occupation (HMO) rather than self-contained housing.  Continue reading Singles forced to share as benefit rules change


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