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New Year, New Measures To Crack Down On Rogue Landlords

New Year, New Measures To Crack Down On Rogue Landlords

Housing Minister Alok Sharma

Within the space of a week, the government has announced a series of new measures to crack down on bad practices, stamp out overcrowding and improve standards for those renting in the private sector.

Housing minister Alok Sharma outlined how - subject to parliamentary clearance - landlords renting properties in England occupied by five or more residents, from two or more separate households will need to be licensed Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMO).

The national mandatory licensing currently only applying if properties are three or more storeys, will be changed so flats and one and two-storey properties will be brought within its scope.

Expected to affect around 160,000 houses, the move will enable councils to take further action to crack down on dishonest landlords renting sub-standard and overcrowded homes.

Under the new licensing regime, the government is also introducing minimum space requirements, which mean rooms used for sleeping by a single adult will have to be no smaller than 6.51sqm, and those occupied by two adults will have to measure at least 10.22sqm. Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger will have to be at least 4.64sqm in size.

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.

The government also revealed details of criminal offences which, from April 2018, will automatically ban someone from being a landlord.

Those convicted of a host of offences, such as stalking, harassment, blackmail, theft, burglary and handling stolen good, will be banned from renting properties and added to a database of 'serious and prolific offenders'.

The government will also introduce fines of up to £30,000 for dodgy landlords, protections for tenants from revenge evictions, as well as providing £12m of funding for councils to carry out enforcement action in hotspot areas.

Mr Sharma said: "Every tenant has a right to a safe, secure and decent home but far too many 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."

If you need help organising your ever increasing documentation, Estates IT, supplies award winning PCHomes software to the Estate/Letting Agents industry, which manages all your documentation effortlessly and in the, soon to be released, V7 PCHomes Plus there is an even more advanced module for tracking and maintaining licences, compliance and document information.

For further information, speak to a member of our team today on: 020 8859 1700 (Option 1) or enquiries@estatesit.com

Deb Roberts

Written by Deb Roberts

Source Estates IT Ltd

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