Around 60,000 HMOs across the UK currently require a licence, but it is estimated that a further 174,000 properties will be subject to mandatory licensing changes aimed at improving housing conditions.
The legislation will impose minimum standards on room sizes, storage facilities and waste disposal for all HMOs, including conversions and properties of multiple use. It will also do away with the requirement that all HMOs have at least three stories in order to fall within the scope of any licensing.
Clearly a risk
Alex Huntley, head of operations at Simple Landlords Insurance, said: “From our research and our conversations with landlords, it’s clear that not everyone is aware of the proposals for new HMO regulations. That could leave some with rooms they can no longer rent, undersized living areas – and a serious gap in their income.
“Larger landlords with HMO portfolios seem to be better prepared than emerging landlords. It’s our job as an insurer to be the safety net that gives landlords the freedom to invest while mitigating risk. This is clearly a risk, and as the six month countdown begins, we’d very much like to see more clarity from government so landlords aren’t caught unawares.”
The legislation was due to be introduced in spring this year, but was delayed because of the General Election.