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Crackdown on rogue landlords continues

Wednesday 03 January 2018

In a press release issued over the Christmas break, the Government have announced a new package of measures to help crack down on rogue landlords, leaving them no place to turn.

Many of the measures come as a result of views given by stakeholders following a consultation last year on HMOs and residential licensing to which we responded

The changes could affect up to 160,000 properties across England and aim to tackle overcrowding, improve living standards and stamp out rogue landlords and letting agents. 

Change to existing mandatory HMO licensing will be introduced so that flats and one/two story homes will need a license provided they are occupied by at least five people from two or more households. Currently Licensing for HMO applies to properties that are three or more stories. 

Ministers also intend to introduce a mandatory condition in HMO licences requiring landlords to comply with local council rules on refuse and recycling. 

Minimum room sizes will also be introduced for HMO properties in the private rented sector, dependent on how many people are sleeping in one room and whether those people are adults or children. For example - a room used for sleeping will need to be at least 6.51 square metres for one adult and 10.22 square metres for a room with 2 adults. If the room is slept in by children of 10 years or younger then the room must be no smaller than 4.64 square metres.  

These changes could effect properties you manage, so it's important to keep up to date with the latest information as some properties may no longer be able to be let in their current configuration. 

For more information about current licensing schemes, refer to our member's only fact sheet

From April 2018 banning orders will be issued for the most serious and prolific offenders and a database of rogue landlords and letting agents will go live meaning that anyone convicted of certain offences will automatically be prevented from renting out properties.  

Housing and Planning Minister Alok Sharma said:

"Every tenant has a right to a safe, secure and decent home. But some are being exploited by unscrupulous landlords who profit from providing overcrowded, squalid and sometimes dangerous homes.

"Enough is enough and so I’m putting these rogue landlords on notice - shape up or ship out of the rental business.

"Through a raft of new powers we are giving councils the further tools they need to crack down on these rogue landlords and kick them out of the business for good."

These raft of changes indicate that there is a real will to crack down on rogue agents and landlords by using a unified approach. Giving these additional powers to local authorities will go some way to pleasing local authorities across England who have criticised the Government for not giving them more powers to make it easier to tackle rogue landlords.