The changing rules on HMOs – what you need to know
The housing sector is expected to face taxation and regulatory changes throughout the coming year, but there are significant changes coming into effect that will impact HMO landlords.
Last year the Government undertook a consultation looking at HMOs and residential property licensing, with changes due to be enforced later this year.
So what exactly is the purpose of the consultation? And what do these forthcoming changes mean for new and existing HMO landlords?
Let’s take a look.
What you need to know:
- The consultation aimed to give councils best-practice guidance on improving living conditions in HMO properties
- The scope of licensing is being extended, meaning a licence will be required for HMOs with five or more occupiers
- A new minimum room size has been proposed, with floor space no less than 6.51sqm and 10.22sqm for single and two adults sharing respectively
- An estimated 170,000 properties will be affected, not including the existing 60,000 already under licence
- Although the new legislation is yet to be enacted, it is due to be enforceable from 1 October 2018.
What can you do to help?
These forthcoming changes will no doubt impact both existing and prospective HMO landlords, many of whom may be unsure of the steps to take.
It is important that brokers raise awareness of the changes and advise their clients where necessary. If not, landlords could come unstuck; whether that’s having their local council chasing them about a licence, or having to renovate properties to make them habitable, in situations like this, time is precious.
In other words, landlords have to get their licence applications before October and start planning any refurbishments now.
Lending a helping hand
Kent Reliance for Intermediaries understands the implication of these changes. The specialist lender is able to assist brokers with HMO clients or those entering this area of buy to let.
For more information on how Kent Reliance for Intermediaries could help your HMO clients, please visit our website HMO mortgages product page or call 01634 835791 and speak directly to the broker liaison team.