New room sizes for HMOs? | Discuss

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New room sizes for HMOs?
03/01/2018
10:23 am
News @ Tenant Referencing
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In an attempt to reduce problems of overcrowding, the government has announced new minimum space requirements for Houses in multiple occupation (HMO’s) in the private rental sector.

This follows the governments post-Christmas 2017 announcement that it wants landlords in England who let properties to five or more people from at least two different families to be licensed.

Currently national mandatory licensing criteria only applies if properties are three or more storeys, but this change to legislation would see flats and one and two-story properties brought within its scope.

Expected to come into law this Spring following a govt. consultation which received 395 responses, the new minimum room size for HMO’s proposals are:

  • Rooms used for sleeping by one adult will have to be no smaller than 6.51 square metres, and those slept in by two adults will have to be no smaller than 10.22 square metres.
  • Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger will have to be no smaller than 4.64 square metres.
  • The HMO licence must specify the maximum number of persons (if any) who may occupy any room and the total number across the different rooms must be the same as the number of persons for whom the property is suitable to live in.

In a statement accompanying the proposals, the Department of Communities and Local Government said: “The increased demand for HMOs has been exploited by opportunist rogue landlords, who feel the business risks for poorly managing their accommodation are outweighed by the financial rewards. 

“Typical poor practices include: overcrowding, poor management of tenant behaviour, failure to meet the required health and safety standards, housing of illegal migrants and intimidation of tenants when legitimate complaints are made. 

Tenants are sometimes exploited and local communities blighted through, for example, rubbish not being properly stored, excessive noise or anti-social behaviour. Although only a minority of landlords the impacts of their practices are disproportionate, putting safety and welfare of tenants at risk and adversely affecting local communities. 

“They cause much reputational harm to the HMO market and it is often pot luck whether a vulnerable tenant ends up renting from a rogue or a good landlord.” 

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03/01/2018
5:14 pm
David Price
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The government is to be applauded on this move to reduce overcrowding.  A large number of rooms will have to be taken out of use, particularly in ex Council houses.

Is there anything that this government does which eases the housing shortage?

16/04/2018
6:53 pm
Patricia
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Is the size quoted with or without the inclusion of an ensuite ?  

21/11/2018
8:27 pm
Patricia
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My Council recommends that Landlords read Mary Lathams Home Stamp as a guide to their requirements in a HMO 

I read it a couple of years ago and would like to re read it. I cannot seem to find a link to it. Does anyone know where the link is?  

21/11/2018
8:29 pm
Patricia
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David Price said
The government is to be applauded on this move to reduce overcrowding.  A large number of rooms will have to be taken out of use, particularly in ex Council houses.

Is there anything that this government does which eases the housing shortage?  

The councils will be asking for proof that the Landlord has a HMO mortgage. 

This will thin the HMO properties out. 

21/11/2018
8:34 pm
Patricia
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David Price said
The government is to be applauded on this move to reduce overcrowding.  A large number of rooms will have to be taken out of use, particularly in ex Council houses.

Is there anything that this government does which eases the housing shortage?  

David. Whilst  looking for Home Stamp info i came across this item by Mary Latham

I hope LRS do not mind me putting this link on. 

https://www.lettingaproperty.com/landlord/blog/local-authorities-are-shooting-themselves-in-the-foot/

23/11/2018
1:37 pm
Tenant Referencing
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Hi Patricia, 

Did you find everything you needed?

23/11/2018
2:13 pm
Patricia
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Hi. 

 

I have found the Home Stamp download 

I am currently reading it. 

It seems there is a difference between the mandatory law and separate councils requirements 

We had a fire assessment carried out a couple of years ago and it was done to the Lacors standard.  Our council is using the Home Stamp and their own higher standards which is confusing. Plus they have combined it with environmental standards. So we have a much bigger list to adhere to now. 

We already have closure fire doors on kitchen and bedroom doors.  We have been now told all rooms need fire doors with closures. Our bedrooms already  have access doors to the outside or windows to the flat roofs .

We have solid wooden doors on a couple of our unimportant interior rooms and we have to replace those.  

Dehumidifiers,  which we have been using for years on the landings in winter have been deemed unsuitable by the council. 

We use dehumidifiers (which work brilliantly) because the new extractors we put in not long ago do not work efficiently enough .

After the Grenfell fire i can understand they do not want it happening again. 

For years i watched the council take out the big fire hoses that were in every tower block. Some had sprinklers and they were removed. So- maybe  Sprinklers into HMO will be next?  I know that the EPC guidelines are being tightened and noise insulation is next. 

Hotel guidelines are being applied to HM0’s . Hotels have business laws on their side and HMO’s and single lets are civil law. 

23/11/2018
2:41 pm
Patricia
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Re The original Landlord Referencing post. 

To the new Housing Minister:  Kit Malthouse. I am confused.

Rooms used for sleeping by one adult will have to be no smaller than 6.51 square metres, and those slept in by two adults will have to be no smaller than 10.22 square metres.

  • Point  :The council measured my rooms,  all have only one occupant and one is just under 10.22 because it has fitted wardrobes along one wall. This means i cannot use that room.
  • Oh…. I have double beds in my rooms like the hotels do,  so i must exchange the beds for single beds. Gotcha! 
  •  
  • Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger will have to be no smaller than 4.64 square metres.
  • The HMO licence must specify the maximum number of persons (if any) who may occupy any room and the total number across the different rooms must be the same as the number of persons for whom the property is suitable to live in.
  • My rooms are for single occupancy only and my AST states that they are for single occupancy only .When a tenant brings his brother to live with him. Which has happened. Twice with different tenants   . I have to take tenant to court if he will not abide by my terms. I cant evict him. 
    Yet, Two in a room breaks my license terms. Does the having a license made by law convey business terms to my HMO? 
13/12/2018
2:13 pm
Patricia
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Just to let you know that Solihull council will not allow single room sizes. 

All sizes have to be 10.22 minimum even if the occupant is single 

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