The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has released further guidance for landlords to protect tenants from poor living conditions
Following recent legislation, 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.
Affecting around 160,000 houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), councils can now take further action to tackle the small minority of landlords who rent out sub-standard and overcrowded homes.
In addition to the guidance, new rules will outline minimum size requirements for bedrooms in HMOs to clamp down on overcrowding.
Landlords will also be asked to stick to council refuse schemes, to reduce waste management issues.
In a statement, Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said:
“Everyone deserves a decent and safe place to live.
“Today’s new guidance for landlords will further protect private renters against bad and overcrowded conditions and poor management practice.”
While addressing current issues affecting the wellbeing of tenants, the government has also announced a review to look at how well selective licensing is working.
In areas where it applies, landlords must apply for a licence if they want to rent out a property.
This procedure allows the council to check whether someone is a “fit or proper person” to be a landlord, by assessing whether the person is capable of managing a property and taking out the appropriate safety measures.
The review will compile evidence from independent commissioners who will work closely with local authorities and bodies representing landlords, tenants and professionals within the housing market.
Findings from the report will be published by Spring 2019, with updates on progress distributed throughout autumn this year.