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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Just three weeks until new HMO licensing rules are introduced

It is now just three weeks until licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) is extended.

The new rules, which will require all properties housing five or more people from two or more separate households to have an HMO licence, are set to be introduced on Monday October 1.

At the moment, a property with five or more tenants from separate households only requires an HMO licence if it has three or more floors.

The new legislation - which was first announced in December - will also see minimum space requirements updated. 

From October, the minimum bedroom space will be 6.51 square metres for a single bedroom and 10.22 square metres for rooms occupied by two adults. Rooms housing children aged ten or below will need to be a minimum size of 4.64 square metres.

As part of the new rules, landlords will also be required to provide an adequate number of bins for their properties.

The cost of HMO licences varies depending on the local authority, with some charging a few hundred pounds and others charging in excess of £1,000. 

An HMO licence is valid for five years and landlords need a separate licence for each HMO they let.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has said that the new rules are being introduced to minimise rogue landlords taking advantage of increased demand for HMOs.

It says that the previous system meant that it was 'pot luck' whether a vulnerable tenant ends up renting from a rogue or good landlord.

The aim of the new rules is to reduce consistent rental property problems, including overcrowding, failure to meet health and safety standards and housing illegal migrants.

Fines for non-compliance with HMO licensing rules are unlimited, while failure to comply with minimum bedroom sizes could see a landlord fined up to £30,000.

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