New HMO Rules
The government has introduced new HMO (Houses of Multiple Occupation) rules. Effectively meaning almost another 100,000 private sector properties will need to be licensed with their local council. Previously only houses of more than three storeys and with five or more people forming at least two households had to be licensed. The current number of licensed HMOs is around 64,000, so this new rule would almost triple the number of licensed HMO properties. Some more cynical landlords would see this move as another attack on the private sector. With yet another opportunity for the government to syphon more revenue in uncertain times of Brexit, rather than raising housing standards.
Consequences of New Rules
With the proposed new changes landlords may have to make changes to current properties to meet new standards as well as paying a license fee (average £1,200) to the council. This additional financial burden could force some landlords to pass this cost onto the tenants by increasing rents. Some landlords are also expected to reduce the number of rooms they rent out (due to sizes etc.), meaning existing tenants would face eviction.
Many of the properties that will be covered by the new rules, already fall under existing licensing schemes. These properties will be transferred into mandatory licensing free of charge, so there will be no additional costs to those landlords.
What do you think of the new rules, we’d be interested to hear your opinions?