Councils are to be given tough new powers to tackle landlords who rent out overcrowded properties. Fines of up to £30,000 will be at Councils disposal, and they will also be able to set minimum bedroom sizes and a maximum number of people who can live in each bedroom. There is also discussion about extending the licencing of HMOs to ignore the number of floors, bringing many more HMOs into compulsory licensing.
The majority of our landlords do not have HMOs. However HMOs have been considered the next great investment opportunity, with some people seeing them as ‘easy money’. Sadly HMOs have also been the source of some of the worst examples of poor landlords rightly receiving substantial fines for low standards or breaches of safety rules. These breaches, combined with the increased safety risk of unrelated people sharing a home, have resulted in the increased rules in this area.
Please also see our article on increased powers for Councils to enforce standards.