The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) yesterday announced fresh plans to clamp down on rogue landlord practices such as deliberate overcrowding, in a move that is expected to affect around 160,000 properties across the country.
To help prevent overcrowding, fresh rules enforcing minimum size requirements for bedrooms in houses of multiple occupation (HMO) will be introduced, with those landlords letting properties occupied by at least five people from two or more separate households required to obtain a license by their local council.
Under the new licensing regime, the government is 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 government has also unveiled details of criminal offences that will prevent those convicted from becoming landlords.
From April 2018 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’
Housing minister Alok 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 these rogue landlords and kick them out of the business for good.”