Buy-to-let landlords must prepare for new licensing laws for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) to ensure that they do not fall foul of the rules.
New licensing laws for landlords, designed to further protect tenants in HMOs from poor living conditions, come into effect in less than two weeks.
From 1 October 2018, any landlord who lets a property to five or more people – from two or more separate households – must be licensed by their local housing authority.
The move, which the government estimates will affect around 160,000 houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), will mean councils can take further action to crack down on the small minority of landlords renting out substandard and overcrowded homes.
New rules will also come into force setting minimum size requirements for bedrooms in HMOs to prevent overcrowding.
The minimum bedroom space will be 6.51sqm for a single bedroom and 10.22sqm for rooms occupied by two adults.
Rooms housing children aged ten or below will need to be a minimum size of 4.64sqm.
Landlords will also be required to adhere to council refuse schemes, to reduce problems with rubbish.
The guidance document, which you can access by clicking here, includes further details on extending mandatory licensing to smaller HMOs and introducing minimum bedroom sizes as government continues to rebalance the relationship between tenants and landlords.
Fines for non-compliance with HMO licensing rules are unlimited, while failure to comply with minimum bedroom sizes could see a landlord fined up to £30,000.