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Government reveals ANY 5 bed+ HMO will need License, Plus new minimum room sizes

The government have announced over the Christmas holidays, new minimum space requirements for HMO (House Multiple Occupation) lettings and revealing new rules for HMOs. The national mandatory licensing currently only applies if properties are three or more storeys, however, this will be changed so one and two-storey properties including flats will be brought within the scheme plus the Department of Communities and Local Government has also specified minimum room sizes for HMO’s.

Rooms used for sleeping by one adult will have to be no smaller than 6.51 square metres, and those slept in by two adults will have to be no smaller than 10.22 square metres.

Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger will have to be no smaller than 4.64 square metres.

The HMO licence must specify the maximum number of persons (if any) who may occupy any room and the total number across the different rooms must be the same as the number of persons for whom the property is suitable to live in.

These new requirements have yet to be made law; measures to make them law are expected this spring.

In a statement accompanying the proposals, the DCLG said: “The increased demand for HMOs has been exploited by opportunist rogue landlords, who feel the business risks for poorly managing their accommodation are outweighed by the financial rewards. Typical poor practices include: overcrowding, poor management of tenant behaviour, failure to meet the required health and safety standards, housing of illegal migrants and intimidation of tenants when legitimate complaints are made. Tenants are sometimes exploited and local communities blighted through, for example, rubbish not being properly stored, excessive noise or anti-social behaviour. Although only a minority of landlords the impacts of their practices are disproportionate, putting safety and welfare of tenants at risk and adversely affecting local communities. They cause much reputational harm to the HMO market and it is often pot luck whether a vulnerable tenant ends up renting from a rogue or a good landlord.”

In Bournemouth, lots of student houses will fall within the new regulations and we expect to see many more 5 bed+ student houses coming on to the market for sale. This is likely to drive more students into the purpose built student accommodation has choice and availability reduce for students.

CLIFFTONS is one of the leading agencies in Bournemouth and have a specialist and niche investment database for selling HMO properties or property portfolios, for and to Investment buyers. For a free consultation, please contact James Scollard on 01202 789699.

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Posted: 2nd January 2018

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