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HMO minimum space standards may be changed by council

HMO minimum space standards may be changed by council

A council has launched a six week consultation on proposals to change size requirements for HMOs in its area.

The proposals, put forward by North Devon Council, amend the current amenity standards, minimum room sizing, and Management Standards Document for HMOs in the district.

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The council’s Head of Planning, Housing and Health, Jeremy Mann, says: "Licensing has helped improve the quality and safety of homes for people living in the private rented sector. 

“The new standards will ensure we continue to make homes in North Devon safe, warm and secure for tenants and help the council continue to tackle rogue landlords who own or rent an HMO without meeting these minimum regulations."

A number of changes have been proposed, most noticeably under the following three main sections:

- personal washing facilities and WCs;

- facilities for the storage, preparation and cooking of food (shared facilities); and

- mandatory space standards in HMOs.

 

To view the amendments made and to have your say on the consultation, visit www.northdevon.gov.uk/hmo-consultation by Wednesday July 20. 

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    Unfortunately mandating that individuals need more space doesn't move walls or make rooms bigger! Care needs to be taken that 'improving' conditions doesn't result in lost bed spaces & increased rent.

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    Alas, the pen pushing bureaucrats don't think that way. They issue dictats, then move one to their next project, feeling smug that they've done the "right" thing. There are guaranteed rent increases and lost bed spaces I'm afraid. The standard 5 bed HMO regs that came in in 2018/19 resulted in an estimated 8 - 10% loss of bedrooms down here. Rents of course went up significantly that year

     
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    Devon and Cornwall, big shortage of ''homes'' to rent and an ever expanding increase in holiday lets, I was down there last week visiting my youngest daughter and her boy friend who both work in the holiday let business so I saw the problem first hand, ''shooting in foot comes to mind''.

     
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    The survey is asking about how ensuites should be counted, changing the wording of bathroom to complete bathroom. Allowing a dishwasher instead of a second sink in large HMOs. If non related people should be allowed to share rooms.
    As an HMO landlord I am aware of how many young people want to share rooms to save money. The LHA and UC is woefully inadequate for a single person on minimum wage especially if they're unable to get regular full time work or have significant travel to work costs.
    It's not something I do, as all my HMO rooms are strictly for single occupancy only, but every time I advertise a room I'm inundated with enquiries from friends wanting to share or people asking if it's OK for their partners and children to live with them. The thought that occurred to me was that if the room is big enough and the license permits the extra person how would a landlord know if the second person was a friend or cohabiting partner? Would we be expected to ask very personal questions about their sleeping arrangements? I can just imagine the headlines about sex obsessed landlords. Does the nature of the relationship matter if the room is big enough and amenities in the house sufficient? Obviously allowing is different to compelling.

    There was nothing especially sinister about the matters they are consulting on. Some of it was just looking for clearer wording to avoid confusion.

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    I regularly rent to a single person just to later find that there are 2 or even 3 people living at the property, 1 lady complains about how small her 1 bed flat over a shop is but she's moved her moron toy boy in, in another a lady has moved her girlfriend in, both small 1 beds I'm not supposed to know but of course I do, within reason I will turn a blind eye

     
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    When I was a student over 50 years ago, I shared a huge but grotty 4 bedroom flat with 7 other guys. We could easily afford the rent, energy bills, food etc. leaving plenty of our student grant for essentials like girls and booze, overdosing on both.

    Nowadays Glasgow City Council would outlaw this flat being let to more than 4 joint tenants and rents have risen massively since compulsory HMO licensing was introduced for all flats let to more than two unrelated adults. Crazy for tenants but great for landlords like me due to the huge demand for a scarce resource letting rents soar.

     
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    I am afraid tenants move people and animals into the properties without permission. Further in Devon and Cornwall feral adults have moved in who are unemployable, and clog up the housing system, and of course the courts and jails.

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    I once had a guy move a Rottweiler in, then the police took the guy away leaving me with a dirty stinking bad tempered Rottweiler to get rid of , RSPCA didn't want to know, I said I would dump him by the side of the road, they threatened to prosecute if I did, long story but I did get rid

     
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    Jo, you have good point as usual one of most knowledgeable LL on here I’ll give you that.
    The 6 weeks consultation is not a consultation it’s just 6 weeks passed by before the bring in what ever they want. I seen that when the Scheme was first introduced, a guy came from York done speeches at 3 venues in one Borough and told us what was coming in, there you are that’s you’re Consultation, he got paid £100’000.00 for that.
    I have some properties with 2 kitchen sinks in each kitchen, 2 cooker’s and 2 sets of hobs per kitchen, when Tenants come they are amazed and wonder what it’s all about.
    Regarding related or not what difference should that be, they shouldn’t be treated any differently to anyone else.
    Whether they are sharers or an item with-in a let is not our business or for us to say. I have seen them switch partners with-in a let. I suppose Premier Johnson would be a good role model for this kind of Living.

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    Andrew yes they do which is why they want to keep Landlords out, and they have made it so you can’t do anything about it anyway. Just give LL a Penalty for not doing what he’s not allowed to do.

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    Call me 'old-fashioned' but I always thought you lived in somewhere small at first and moved to somewhere bigger, - ' When you could Afford it ' !

    Also, new builds are decreasing in size and there's no minimum size that house-holders can cram their families into, - just applies to Private Rented Sector ( where have we heard that before ? )

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