Minister for the Private Rental Sector, Heather Wheeler, has confirmed the UK Government have no intention of introducing a mandatory, national landlord register, RLA reports, with the plans being “unnecessary and costly”.
She said “The Government does not support a mandatory register of private landlords. The majority of landlords provide decent and well-managed accommodation and requiring those landlords to sign up to a national register would introduce an unnecessary and costly additional layer of bureaucracy,” and goes on to talk about how HMOs are already licenced across the country, which is true; the government are implementing new legislation (coming into effect on the 1st October 2018) to extend HMO licensing to five or more occupiers, in an attempt to unify the definition of an HMO. You can read the new rules by clicking here.
In a nutshell, the Extension of Mandatory HMO Licensing, also known as The Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Prescribed Description) (England) Order 2018) aims to clarify what an HMO is for the benefit especially of landlords with properties under different authorities. This does not apply to converted blocks of flats.
The legislation states that properties will be subject to mandatory licensing if they meet the following criteria:
- It is occupied by five or more persons;
- is occupied by persons living in two or more separate households; and
- the standard test under section 254(2) of the The Housing Act 2004;
- the self-contained flat test under section 254(3) of The Housing Act 2004 but is not a purpose-built flat situated in a block comprising three or more self-contained flats; or
- the converted building test under section 254(4) of The Housing Act 2004.
There is to be no grace period (where previously, it was expected there would be a grace period of 6 months), instead the act will come into force on the 1st