HMO licensing regime to be expanded to include low-rise homes and flats

Houses in Multiple Occupation that have to be mandatorily licensed are to include properties – regardless of height – that are occupied by five or more people from two or more households.

Currently, HMOs that must be mandatorily licensed are of three or more storeys.

The new rules, which have to be put before and approved by Parliament, will bring an extra 160,000 homes, including flats, bungalows and two-storey houses, into the mandatory licensing regime.

In a separate move, HMRC has revealed plans that would make it compulsory for any landlord applying for an HMO licence to be registered with HMRC first, for tax purposes.

In a consultation open until March 2, the move would crack down on overseas landlords letting out HMOs in the UK and also on UK landlords not paying the right amount of tax.

New rules will also come into force setting minimum size requirements for bedrooms in HMOs. As part of the licensing requirements, local councils will be able to make sure that only rooms meeting the standard are used for sleeping.

Rooms used for sleeping by one adult will have to be no smaller than 6.51 sqm and those slept in by two adults will have to be no smaller than 10.22 sqm. Rooms slept in by children of ten years and younger will have to be no smaller than 4.64 sqm.

Housing minister Alok Sharma has also confirmed that the blacklist of landlords and letting agents will be implemented this April.

He was, however, silent on who will have access to this blacklist. As things stand, only local councils and the DCLG will be able to access the list – not tenants, nor landlords or other members of the public, and not prospective employers hoping to avoid recruiting agents with bad track records.

The Government has however set out details of criminal offences which will automatically result in a ban from being a landlord. Convictions for crimes such as burglary and stalking will be added to convictions for housing offences resulting in bans.

Separately, Labour has announced that it will ban ‘no fault’ evictions if it comes to power. Leader Jeremy Corbyn said it would be a manifesto commitment. The Scottish government has already brought in a ban.

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9 Comments

  1. proper21

    160,000 properties  x £500 = £80,000,000

    every 5 years

    with unlimited fines for non compliance and not being aware is not a defence

    oh, and the council has no obligation to inform landlords

    no brainier, then

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    1. ALT10092

      Then they will complain rents are going up….. 
       

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  2. LandlordsandLetting

    When will all this nonsense end!?  I did a spoof article on my blog over a year ago in which I said that the government have plans for testing the mental stability of all residential landlords before they receive a Licence to Let. I think now that that article will eventually come true.

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    1. Barry20

      You’d probably have to be mad to go into BTL at the moment anyway. So would that mean automatic disqualification?  🙂

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  3. Will

    Guess what?  this is more about HMRC than HMO’s. More about money making than tenancies.  Why does every political party want to punish landlords? BECAUSE THAN CAN SCAM MONEY.

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  4. Orson67

    They can write as much drivel as they like about “improving standards”, “‘elf & safety* and all the rest of the usual guff, This is all about the money, its only ever about the money. Yet another public sector ruse to screw money out of Landlords for very little effort.

     

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  5. ALT10092

    >Rooms used for sleeping by one adult will have to be no smaller than 6.51 sqm and those slept in by two adults will have to be no smaller than 10.22 sqm. Rooms slept in by children of ten years and younger will have to be no smaller than 4.64 sqm

    Many new build homes have had very small bedrooms. Most are 3 bedroom houses, are really 2 bedroom and a box room, which cannot be used as a bedroom. Whilst this applies to HMO, but for selective licensing it has caused problems.

     

     

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  6. ALT10092

    I am getting fed up all these rules and regulations. Every few months there are new rules are regulations.

    Given there are 100 MPs who are landlords, why are they no changing laws in a sensible fashion.

    I want to sell up, but I don’t like the prospect of Capital Gains Tax, not the the recent tax changes, which is going to impact.

    My tenants are happy with me, but it seem the Torys want Tescofication of the rental market, whilst Labour want houses rented out by housing associations. The small landlords is going to be squeezed out.

    At national level we face huge taxation. A local an increasing number of councils are introducing licensing schemes.

    With Brexit, I expect there will be empty homes and a shortage of good tenants….

     

     

     

     

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  7. ALT10092

    > Separately, Labour has announced that it will ban ‘no fault’ evictions if it comes to power. Leader Jeremy Corbyn said it would be a manifesto commitment. The Scottish government has already brought in a ban.

    Taxes on private landlords are going up. Do I really want to be stuck in a situation, where my rental is costing me money in taxes and I can’t evict the tenant to sell the property?

    There is a lack of joined up thinking in policy.

    Osborne introduced higher taxes on private landlords, it will be harder for any future politician to reverse that policy, as it would seem to be helping landlord.

     

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