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Advisers can help landlords get their skates on for HMO changes – Hunt

by: Bob Hunt, chief executive of Paradigm Mortgage Services
  • 11/09/2018
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Advisers can help landlords get their skates on for HMO changes – Hunt
If you or your clients are a private landlord then you may well consider yourself on a regulation and political treadmill continually being hit with all manner of measures, which feel like they’re designed to stop you from continuing.


The never-ending cycle of regulatory changes shows no sign of ceasing with new rules surrounding houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) due to come into force on 1 October.

But landlords of these properties will need to be up to speed on the October changes – and there is no better person than their adviser to make them aware and perhaps look at the ongoing financial needs for their portfolios.

Paradigm has put together a guide, but as a quick précis, the changes mean the definition of an HMO will now be rather broader than previously thought.

It means properties which might not have been classed as an HMO may now fall within the guidelines, which means more landlords will need to secure the necessary licence.


HMOs will be defined as:

Any property occupied by five or more individuals who are from more than one household and not related to each other.



Compulsory licence

It used to be that the property also needed to be three stories high to be an HMO but this requirement has now been jettisoned.

There has been some to-ing and fro-ing around when a landlord should apply for a licence if their property meets these new requirements, as it was thought there could be a grace period.

However this is not the case, and landlords will need to apply for a licence before the start of next month to ensure they can lawfully continue to let the property.

Fines will be issued where a breach has been identified, although landlords will have an 18-month period to rectify issues.

With just weeks to go until the introduction of the changes, landlords need to get their skates on so they understand what is required of them and have applied for the necessary licence.

Use this as an opportunity to contact all existing buy-to-let clients – open communication is always a positive and by getting in touch you could well open up a number of business opportunities.




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