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Minimum bedroom size for houses of multiple occupancy discussed
9 November 2015
Housing minister Brandon Lewis has proposed the introduction of a national minimum size for rented bedrooms across the UK. A discussion paper published by the Department of Communities and Local Government aims to tackle overcrowding as well as rogue landlords who rent out often unsafe small spaces.
Local authorities would have more powers to license houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs), extending the current legislation to include small and medium sized properties. If the measures come into effect, landlords renting out unlicensed rooms smaller than 6.5 square metres could be liable to pay a fine. However, local authorities would also be free to introduce higher standards than the 6.5 square metres if they felt it necessary.
The scheme is being discussed after recent cases came to light where rogue landlords had asked for extortionate rents in exchange for what has been called “rabbit hutch properties”. In one case reported by the Guardian, tenants had to enter the property on all fours as the entrance was only 70cm high.
The scheme is part of the government’s fight against illegal immigration. The full discussion paper can be viewed online. The closing date for comments is 18 December 2015.
Total Landlord Insurance will keep you up to date on any developments concerning the paper on the website and Social Media channels.