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     Tougher laws are expected to be coming in this April 2018 around HMO’s. Currently you only require a licence if you have 5 or more unrelated occupants over 3 stories or more.

    A Government consultation exercise has been ongoing on proposals for England to remove the 3-story rule and include single and two storey buildings. It is also proposing a room must be a minimum of 6.52 square metres for one person, and 10.23 square metres for two people. The measurement of these rooms cannot include areas where the ceiling is below 1.5 metres in height.

     Presently there ae around 60,000 licensed HMO, this is likely to increase to 175,000 properties. Any landlord applying for a license will need to prove that they are a “fit and proper person”, a test which is to be tightened up under these proposals, and will likely include criminal record checks. Fines for not obtaining a license for an HMO will possibly be unlimited.  

    Whilst there is likely to be a grace period of six months once the legislation is introduced, any landlords who are haven’t sorted out their licensing requirement when this period runs out could find themselves on the receiving end of criminal prosecutions, and civil penalties of up to £30,000 – so it’s a significant impact to consider.

    This change is likely to come as a surprise to many landlords as it will almost certainly require them to do work in their properties.

    The changes are intended to improve the overall standards and safety of lettings in England generally as the government tries to shake up rogue landlords. There is likely to be a grace period for landlords to catch up with these standards.

    Although more landlords with properties meeting the above criteria will pay more in fees to their local authority, working to improved standards in their properties may result in more favourable mortgage applications.

     Other proposals could include rules on storage facilities and waste disposal.

     If you are feeling overwhelmed with all the new legislations, then come and speak to Move On Sales and Lettings, our experience, expertise and knowledge could save you thousands!