The government’s wave of measures to clamp down on the private rental sector and introduce harsher regulations for investors and landlords continues apace with the announcement of a new round of consultation on new rules.
The main measure – originally floated in a consultation document from the Department of Communities and Local Government back in November of last year and repeated by new housing minister Gavin Barwell over the summer – is a minimum space standard.
Under the plans, which will apply in England, the minimum room size in HMOs and some other shared homes will be 6.52 square metres – roughly 70 square feet. The size would be applied for each individual or couple living in the property, so landlords could not squeeze in bunk beds.
The consultation document also includes a provision to ensure mandatory HMO-style licensing rules apply to all shared homes with five or more people from two or more households; they will also include flats above and below shops and other business premises – currently licensing applies only to homes with three or more floors, and excludes properties attached to businesses, unless they are in a three-storey building.
Landlords will also be required to provide decent storage and disposal of rubbish.
Ministers are also considering whether the current licensing rules for purpose-built student accommodation are appropriate.
“In order to build a country that truly works for everyone we must ensure that everyone has somewhere safe and secure to live. These measures will give councils the powers they need to tackle poor-quality rental homes in their area” says Barwell.
“By driving rogue landlords that flout the rules out of business, we are raising standards and giving tenants the protection they need.”
You can see the full details here; consultation closes on Tuesday December 13.