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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Councils to be given new wave of powers to fine landlords

Councils will be handed tough new powers to punish rogue landlords up to £30,000.

Under the new legislation, being introduced in October, councils will be able to set minimum bedroom size standards and also introduce limits on how many people can live in each bedroom of a licenced multiple occupancy home. Those found in breach of overcrowding and living conditions regulations would be subject to fines levied directly by local authorities.

The planned measure comes as part of a central government crackdown on unscrupulous landlords, initially introduced in January, and includes banning orders for the worst offenders.

The new standards will apply to all private landlords applying for new licences, while those who own existing properties will be given up to 18 months to make necessary changes when re-applying for a licence after it has expired.

The plans would help crack down on rogue landlords who exploit tenants by renting out cramped and sometimes squalid or dangerous properties.

According to the space requirements proposed by the government, rooms used for sleeping by one person over 10 will have to be a minimum 6.51sqm, and those slept in by two people over 10 will have to be no smaller than 10.22sqm. Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger will have to measure at least 4.64sqm.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, said: “This move will help ensure tenants have the space they need and deserve as well as reduce health and safety risks they face by sharing cooking and washing facilities with too many people.”

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    So Tenants in a 6.25sqm room (and completely happy) and paying a lower rent because of the room size, will now have to relocate to a new property (at great expense as we are frequently told), probably pay a higher rent. And their old room left vacant, probably forcing the Landlord to increase rent to compensate for the income shortfall.
    This net reduction in rooms available to rent helps the housing crisis how?
    Squeezing 6 people into such a small room should be outlawed, but rogue (criminal) Landlords that do this work outside of the Law already, and will ignore these new rules and regulations just as they ignore every other rule and regulation. The existing regulations need to be enforced not introduced even more regulations.

    Peter David

    I could not agree more

     
  • Peter David

    Man alive this will be so abused. Free money printing machine given to councils. I can see this causing merry hell with interminable definitions of what constitutes "abuse" and "health and safety risks" and what constitutes "squalid"? In my student days we never had much money so we had pretty rough digs. That how it works. You afford what you can afford. Seriously though this is something the councils could really earn money from and as such will be prone to aggressive attacks being made on potentially every landlord. Clearly as a landlord I am meant to be an evil monster but I don't feel like one. And oddly my tenants keep renewing. Obviously I am missing something.

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    you couldnt make this up if you tried, lets help the shortage of available affordable rented accomodation , "I know what to do lets make occupancy criteria more restrictive leave 10's of thousands of rooms empty and force rents up"

    What a fabulously brilliant idea.

    NOT!!!!!!!!!!

  • Peter David

    Government is out of control in its mismanagement of the PRS sector, like that doomed self driving car in Arizona.

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    Do the government know what they are doing ? HELL NO ,,,,

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    i expect some of those sleeping in shop door ways might quite like one of these empty rooms

  • Richard Tacagni

    Council's can already impose appropriate occupancy limits on licensed HMOs and have had this power since 2006. What the new regulations will do is remove council's discretion to consider each property on it's merits, by imposing absolute minimum room sizes. This will result in decent accommodation being lost from the private rented sector as the regulations have no regard to the amount of communal living space available in a shared house or flat. I'm not convinced this is a good idea.

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    We have spoken to Tunbridge wells Council and they have advised they still have the discretionary powers to decide.

    Richard Tacagni

    The council do have power to require larger room sizes. However, from 1 October 2018, they will loose the discretion to allow occupation of bedrooms that fall below the government's new absolute minimum sizes, when the licence is up for renewal.

     
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