Not long ago, we explored the current state of House in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), based on the thoughts of our founder, Bill Rockett. And recently, a report has emerged suggesting that new licensing rules enforced in England at the start of this month will collectively cost buy-to-let landlords somewhere in the region of a whopping £79 million - equating to an an average bill of £1,027 each to £495 per property.
Under these new regulations, mandatory HMO licensing is now extended to almost all HMOs that are occupied by five or more tenants and where some form of shared facilities are present within the property. This new ruling is set to affect an excess of 160,000 properties, with 77,194 landlords being expected to apply for the new licence.
Moreover, as of the beginning of the month, a property will be considered a HMO if it's occupied by more than four tenants, and these people form two or more separate households. Plus, the requirement for a property to cover three or more stories of a property has now been quashed, and it's estimated that this change will mean that some 177,000 rental properties could now be classified as HMOs across the nation.
This new set of regulations have supposedly been put into place to assist local councils in taking more comprehensive action to crack down on the small minority of landlords renting out substandard and overcrowded housing to tenants in various pockets of the UK.
As a result of these shifts, HMO-based landlords will need to spend around three hours per property applying for new licences, familiarising themselves with the new regulations and taking time out of their no doubt busy schedule to facilitate successful property inspections.
These new regulations certainly add an extra element of challenge for landlords currently dealing in HMOs, frankly making a tricky situation potentially more difficult.
If you are a landlord with HMO properties, we hope this information will help you prepare for the changes as much as humanly possible and for more pearls of industrial wisdom, explore our insight into property maintenance support.