As of 1 October 2018 any landlord who lets a property to 5 or more people (from 2 or more separate households) in what is known as a House in Multiple Occupation or ‘HMO’ must be licensed by their local housing authority. This has been introduced by Government in an effort to improve the standard of rental accommodation in the UK.
This legislation is aimed at enabling local authorities to exclude ‘unfit or improper’ people from renting out multiple occupancy properties as defined above although it is also expected to have a wider effect.
The legislation is accompanied by further advice from The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government relating to the minimum size of bedrooms for couples, singles and children.
It is expected that these new rules and ‘advice’ will also be used to require Landlords to adhere to council refuse schemes, and also to require private Landlords manage their properties in accordance with the wishes of the Local Authority and subject to their stipulations. .
The stated aim of these new provisions is to improve the quality of rented accommodation and to reduce overcrowding; a worthy aim. However, state control of private assets and businesses can have some potential pitfalls.
The advice and the powers of selective licensing contained in the legislation will be monitored by the Government and form part of another review set to be reported in Spring 2019.
For further advice on the legislation and regulations relating to private residential landlords contact our experienced letting team for a no-obligation chat.