Landlords of residential apartments and 1 to 2 storey houses which are deemed as houses of multiple occupations (HMOs – where five or more people from two or more households reside in the same property) now have to hold a mandatory HMO licence from their relevant council (this can set HMO landlords back by over £1,000). Regulation helps to ensure HMO properties meet certain standards and landlords/managers are “fit and proper”. Arguably, this is achieved by listing HMO landlords on a public register and making details of their HMO properties publicly available also. This approach has been advocated to help police standards and letting conditions of HMOs; as HMOs are known to cater for tenants who are typically on low incomes (think of students, low-income working professionals, vulnerable people and migrant workers).
Moreover, new minimum bedroom size requirements within HMOs have been introduced. Rooms used by one adult will be no smaller than 6.51 sq metres; whilst rooms used for two adults will be no smaller than 10.22 sq metres respectively.
Clearly, property regulations are constantly being revised and imposed every year which demonstrates the importance of continuing professional development (CPD). This is what separates the professional property investors from the cowboys. Read often and widely!