From April 2018 any landlord convicted for the criminal offences of blackmail, theft, handling stolen goods, harassment and stalking will automatically be banned from letting out property and added to the new rogue landlords database.
In addition Housing Minister, Alok Sharma, has introduced new HMO regulations set to be passed by Parliament confirming all properties occupied by 5 or more people from 2 or more separate households will face mandatory licensing.
The new HMO regulations will include:
- Minimum bedroom size requirements (to prevent overcrowding). 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.
- Responsibility falling on landlords to ensure the council’s rules on refuse and recycling are adhered to.
- Additional powers to be given to local authorities for cracking down on over-crowded and sub-standard homes.
The government has estimated this will bring 160,000 into the licensing regime.
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.”
The RLA policy on this was previously spelt out by David Smith saying: “Councils are already struggling to enforce licensing schemes and the extension will potentially triple the number of homes under mandatory licensing.
“What is the point in introducing extra regulations if there are no resources to enforce them?
“Tenants should not be forced into excessively small rooms, but there are cases where tenants have other space available within their properties, which should be taken into account. By concentrating so narrowly on bedroom size the Government could knock thousands of rooms out of the sector, potentially forcing tenants out of their homes.”
Source: Property 118