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New HMO Rules May Force Landlords Out Of The Rental Market

By Charles Kelly

The UK government recently announced tough new minimum space requirements for private lettings in a bid to reduce overcrowding and other problems in the HMO rental sector. The widely expected new rules for HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation) will bring the national mandatory licensing, currently only applying if properties are three or more storeys, to all flats and one and two-storey properties. The new rules will allow local councils to force more landlords to register their HMO properties, which should raise standards. My own local authority has around ten times as many unlicensed houses in some form of multiple occupation as those licensed as HMO’s. The majority of buy-to-let landlords in the UK are law abiding and should have no problems complying with new regulations. However, based on the previous experience of other local authorities, which have brought in blanket licensing for all rental properties, many landlords will be probably fall short of the minimum safety requirements

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