Landlords in Buckinghamshire have just 7 short days to ensure they are ready for the imminent changes in the law surrounding rental properties. These new rules will affect new or existing landlords that have properties that are occupied by more than one family. This includes parents who are subletting their child’s student university accommodation.
The new government rules will result in a greater number of rental properties that require an HMO license. The legislation has been amended to counteract the rising number of substandard, crowded, rental properties in England. In the past an HMO license was only required for rental properties that spanned more than 3 storeys. However the new law includes all sizes of property, even bungalows.
HMO licensing is extremely strict and requires a higher commitment from the landlord. Wycombe Sales and Lettings in Buckinghamshire offer a full Professional HMO Management and Support service for landlords who are now faced with navigating this new law.
Landlords will also have to comply with the new “minimum usable floor space” requirements. These requirements are: a minimum of 6.51 square metres (sq m) for a single adult, 10.22 sq m for two adults and 4.64 sq m for children under the age of 10. Smaller rental room sizes will not be permissible by law. Furthermore, a landlord must ensure that there are adequate refuse provisions for the property. There are hefty financial penalties for landlords in breach of these new laws.
After October 1st 2018 an HMO licence will be required for any property with five or more occupants who form more than one “family”. This will result in a lot of additional red-tape surrounding rental properties in Buckinghamshire. HMO properties require professional management by a “fit and proper person”. To determine whether a landlord or property manager is a “fit and proper person” the council takes into account a number of factors. These factors include criminal offences, discrimination, antisocial behaviour and other relevant information.
The assigned Property Manager must ensure that all legislation is rigorously adhered to. This includes up to date certification to prove the safety of the property being obtained and clearly presented in communal areas of the property. As well as ensuring the property is risk free and properly maintained. Failing to do so can have serious consequences including the mandatory paying back of past rent, large ”unlimited” fines and even having to give your property over to the council for management.
The rules surrounding HMO can vary based on the borough and also your property location. For example, there can be additional requirements for properties on a specific postcode or even in specific streets.
The cost of obtaining a license can be anywhere from a few hundred pounds to thousands, depending on the size of property. To find out more information on the HMO requirements for your property we would advise you speak with the local council authorities. Alternatively Wycombe Sales and Lettings offer a free consultation service to local landlords.
Wycombe Sales and Lettings in Buckinghamshire offers landlords professional, tailor made HMO Property Management Services throughout the region. Their aim is to take the pressure off landlords by providing a comprehensive property management service that offers peace of mind.
Letting out HMO’s yields a higher ROI for investors, however with the ever impending changes in legislation there is also far greater responsibility. Therefore by hiring a professional lettings agent, you can have the peace of mind that you have complied with all of your legal obligations.
If you are a landlord and think you might be affected by the changes in HMO licensing:
Don’t delay, call Wycombe Sales and Lettings today on 01494 623 019