Government plans to protect tenants from poor living conditions through the expansion of mandatory HMO licensing looks set be less successful than hoped as councils are struggling to enforce the rules.
A landlord in Luton has been handed the largest fine the town has ever seen for breaches of the law regarding houses in multiple occupation, including a total disregard for the safety of his tenants.
A west London property company managing an HMO in Notting Hill has been fined £47,900 in relation to 24 charges under the Housing Act 2004 after council officers found numerous breaches of regulations ranging from a faulty smoke detector to unsafe banisters.
AAA London Property Limited of 37 Warren Street London W1T entered guilty pleas to 13 of the charges at an earlier hearing and was subsequently found guilty of the remaining 11 charges after trial.
Agents and landlords across a large part of central London are warned that this week, a new licensing scheme came into force.
In Camden, as from Tuesday (Dec 8), all Houses in Multiple Occupation had to be licensed.
A tenant eviction specialist has warned that the Government’s proposal to introduce minimum room sizes will not prevent subletting scams which are often the cause of “rabbit hutch rooms”.
Landlord Action founder Paul Shamplina said the proposed new rules will require greater enforcement resources to be effective.
The mandatory HMO licensing regime is to be extended to two-storey homes and even bungalows, while there will have to be minimum bedroom sizes.
It effectively means that as from next year, all HMOs in England with five or more sharers will be caught by the mandatory licensing regime.
The crackdown on single-storey dwellings would encompass “beds in sheds”.
The minimum bedroom size would be 6.5 square metres.
A survey has claimed that more than four in 10 tenants in house-shares could be at risk due to not having a working smoke alarm.
A new survey claims there is a serious shortfall of appropriate quality accommodation for students.
The research, conducted amongst 500 students and commissioned by The Mistoria Group, claims that only 5 per cent want to live in halls of residence, while 17 would prefer a self-contained room or flat.
A Swindon HMO landlord has been fined more than £16,000 for cramming too many tenants into a converted guesthouse.
Javaid Lone, 59, pleaded guilty to 13 breaches of housing regulations at a hearing at Swindon Magistrates' Court last week.
A Birmingham landlord has been fined £6,400 and ordered to pay £3,696 costs and a £120 victim surcharge for failing to licence an HMO and breaching HMO regulations.
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are the most stable and profitable form of buy to let investment in the UK, protecting landlords against higher costs caused by an interest rate rise, a new analysis report suggests.
HMOs, generally rented to young professionals and key workers, are intrinsically geared towards maximising rental income by letting each room on an individual basis, according to the report from Platinum Property Partners (PPP).
A landlord has been hit with costs of £75,215 after failing to license four HMOs and comply with various notices.
Gunapalan Vamathevan, of Acton in west London, received fines for nine offences at Ealing Magistrates’ Court.
He was ordered to pay court costs of £5,395 and a victim surcharge of £120, on top of a fine of almost £70,000.
Analysis carried out for Platinum Property Partners (PPP), comparing HMOs rented to professionals and other asset classes, shows that HMOs were by far the best performing investment over the four year period from 2010-14.
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