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Landlord with more than four tenants in a property? You’ll need a licence

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Written by: Lana Clements
03/01/2018
Landlords will need a licence to rent out properties with more than four people, or with more than one separate household, government plans reveal.

The proposed measures are set to impact around 160,000 houses in England and are part of a wider crackdown on rogue landlords and overcrowding in a bid to improve standards in the private rented sector.

The new rules from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG), set out the minimum size requirements for bedrooms in houses of multiple occupation in a bid to prevent overcrowding.

As part of the licencing requirements, local councils will be able to make sure only rooms meeting the standard are used as bedrooms.

Rooms sleeping one adult must be at least 6.51 square metres, for two adults, rooms must be no smaller than 10.22 square metres.

National mandatory licensing currently only applies if properties are three or more storeys, but flats and one and two-storey properties will now be covered by the rules.

The licence will specify the maximum number of people who may occupy any room and must be the same as the total number suitable to live in the property.

‘Shape up or ship out of the rental business’

Landlords will also be held responsible for making sure the council’s rules on refuse and recycling are followed.

Furthermore, anyone convicted of burglary or stalking from April 2018, can be added to a database where they will be automatically banned from being a landlord.

The changes are the result of consultations on houses in multiple occupation, residential property licencing reforms and proposed banning order offences under the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

The measures are subject to parliamentary clearance, according to DCLG.

Housing and planning minister, Alok Sharma, said: “Every tenant has a right to a safe, secure and decent home.

“But far too many are being exploited by unscrupulous landlords who profit from providing overcrowded, squalid and sometimes dangerous homes.

“Enough is enough and so I’m putting these rogue landlords on notice – shape up or ship out of the rental business.

“Through a raft of new powers we are giving councils the further tools they need to crack down on these rogue landlords and kick them out of the business for good.”

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