Monthly Archives: September 2018

HMO – What you need to know

As you may or may not have heard, the Government is changing the Regulations that apply to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), these changes will give you a new reason to contact your existing HMO customers and target new ones. So, what is changing and what do you need to know?

The licencing rules are changing:

Currently only HMOs that meet the following criteria require a license:

  • A ‘large’ HMO rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household
  • At least 3 storeys high

The new rules extend the scope to:

  • Any HMO rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household
  • Any number of storeys
  • Purpose built flats where there are up to two flats in a block.

There is also an extension to the ‘mandatory licence conditions’ for HMOs

  • This will include conditions relating to:
  • minimum sleeping accommodation standards
  • maximum occupancy of such rooms
  • and the disposal of domestic waste in HMOs

All these changes will come in to effect on 01 October 2018.

Landlords and letting agents will only be able to recover “reasonable incurred costs” from tenant deposits, under new government plans.

Renters must be provided with evidence of costs before they can impose charges, as part of amendments to the Tenant Fees Bill.

It means tenants will no longer be forced to pay “excessive” costs for minor damages.

For example, landlords or agents will not be able to charge hundreds of pounds for damaged items that cost only a few pounds to replace.

Other changes to the bill include steps to make sure tenants get their money back quickly by reducing the timeframe that landlords and agents must pay back fees that have been unlawfully charged.

Under the new law, letting agent fees will be banned and deposits at the start of the tenancy will be capped at six weeks’ rent under the new laws.

The bill is set to save tenants around £240m a year, the government said.

Minister Rishi Sunak MP said: “Tenants across the country, whatever their income, should not be hit with unfair costs by agents or landlords.

“This government is determined to make sure our housing market works and this new provision in the Tenant Fees Bill will make renting fairer and more transparent for all.”