Further details about the Government’s crackdown on rogue landlords were unwrapped over Christmas, so let’s take a look inside...
The proposed new rules, which could affect up to 160,000 properties across England, aim to deal with overcrowding and poor living standards while stamping out those unscrupulous landlords and letting agents.
Many of the issues associated with the private rented sector have stemmed from problems with houses of multiple occupation (HMOs), so it comes as no surprise that much of the new legislation has been focused on that area.
For example, current rules demands that HMOs are only licensed if they are three or more storeys high, but mandatory licensing will soon extend to any house or flat occupied by at least five people from two or more households. HMO landlords must also comply with local authority rules on refuse and recycling – rather than leaving it up to the tenants.
How big are the rooms in your property? Minimum room sizes will be introduced for HMOs in the private rented sector, but this depends upon how many adults or children sleep in the room. The minimum will be 6.51 square metres for one adult and 10.22 square metres for two adults. For children under 11 years, the room must be no smaller than 4.64 square metres.
The penalties for non-compliance can be severe, so landlords need to take note. The Government has announced that, from April, banning orders will be issued for the most serious offenders. Furthermore, a database of rogue landlords and letting agents will be going live preventing convicted landlords from renting out properties in the future.
Any changes in legislation could potentially affect the properties you own, so it's important for all landlords to keep up to date with the latest developments. You may get a nasty surprise when you are told that your property may no longer be suitable to be let out.
If you need some advice about your buy-to-let property, call Knight Property Management today on 01992 308181.