The initial rules for licensing regarding HMOs came into force following the 2004 Housing Act, which state that every property with 3 or more storeys and 5 or more unrelated occupants, required a licence. The aim was to ensure that the landlord met the correct standards and provided safe housing for tenants.
As you can see, this licensing was only required for a small percentage of HMOs at the time. That meant that properties with only one or two storeys or fewer than 5 unrelated tenants had more lenient obligations in the eyes of the law, which created opportunities for rogue landlords to take advantage of tenants.
In 2018, tougher licensing rules are expected to be introduced to ensure that all landlords take their responsibilities seriously. It is anticipated that these licensing changes will be revealed in April this year. Landlords should be thinking ahead to the impacts that these changes might have and preparing to make any changes to their properties that are required.
The aim with the new HMO rules is to improve standards across the lettings industry in England. Most likely the change will remove the 3 storey rule. It could also see the introduction of minimum room sizes.
To tackle rogue landlords, the new requirements could result in them having to prove they are a “fit and proper” landlord, which could include a criminal record check and landlord thorough background check of any problems the landlord has run into, to date.
The HMO rules will give local councils more power when it comes to achieving better living standards; they will be able to check properties before granting licenses and be able to pursue and punish anyone who does not abide by the rules.
T1property are happy to support all landlords to meet their legal obligations. We are a forward thinking company and keep an eye on changes to rules to inform our clients of any changes to licensing as and when they come about. This has helped us to become one of the best for HMO management letting agents Portsmouth has to offer.
If you are looking for a professional service, please contact us today. Our team are happy to help and have a personal approach to ensure every client receives the level of service that they expect and deserve.