It’s nearly the end of September which means that 1 October is on Monday! So I need to remind you about the
In short, these are
- A change to the HMO licensing regulations in England – as discussed here
- New minimum bedroom sizes for HMO properties – as discussed here, and
- New section 21 rules for older tenancies
If you have been reading this blog for any time you will know all about the section 21 rules – I did a lot of posts in 2015 which are listed here.
However, I am planning an update on Monday so don’t forget to come here and take a look.
Remember though that the new rules do not apply in Wales which will have its own big changes when their Renting Homes (Wales) Act comes into force – does anyone know when?
Scrapping section 21?
Mind you, if Labour have their way we may not have to worry about section 21 for much longer as they are planning on doing away with it.
I’m not entirely sure this is such a good idea (although I understand why they want to do it). I can remember the old Rent Act 1977 and the problems it caused landlords who were unable to recover their properties from nightmare tenants. It could kill off the private rented sector in which case – what are they going to put in its place?
Are Local Authorities ready for 1 October?
Going back to the new HMO rules – one problem is that many Local Authorities are not geared up for it. As reported on Property Industry Eye, Richard Lambert of the NLA has said:
We have been contacted by a number of our members who have tried to apply for licences, but the local authority has purported not to know anything about it or simply didn’t have the systems in place to process the applications.
This is an unacceptable failing on the part of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, which should have ensured all local authorities were up to speed with the changes.
It’s disappointing that more consideration hasn’t been made for the significance of this change and the challenges local authorities face in implementing it.
Our advice to landlords who have encountered this is to apply for an HMO licence using the existing process, even if the council hasn’t updated their forms
I would agree with that advice. I can also confirm that the readiness of Local Authorities varies widely.
We are developing a new Local Authority Database for our new Landlord Law site, and my staff member Bev, who is doing the research tells me that although some Local Authorities are ‘brilliant’ others just don’t seem to have a clue.
A National Landlords Alliance?
Larry Sweeney, a Property 118 reader is looking to start a new National Landlords Alliance which will apparently be ‘100% focused on aggressively fighting the Landlords corner’, saying
We all know how frustrated and sickened the community is with the other main associations failing to aggressively fight our corner and instead assist the councils implementing their rotten Selective licensing schemes. Enough is enough.
Membership will be £100 pa but at the moment he is just looking for pledges.
I’m not convinced the RLA and NLA have much to worry about though.
- Property Industry Eye reports a record number of tenants experiencing rent hikes
- An interesting article on how empty homes are being revived
- Emoov boss has a radical proposal for housebuilding
- A glimpse into the new Legal & General modular housing factory in Leeds
- The token homes sculpture – a comment on the housing crisis