A new report from HMO management specialists Multi-Let UK, has revealed that over two-thirds of HMO investors feel that government and local councils are not doing enough to deter rogue landlords.
Crackdown on rogues
Research from the firm shows that 70% of HMO investors want the Government and local councils to produce more of a crackdown on HMO landlords abusing the law.
52% of investors want to see local councils carry out more inspections, in order to track down HMO’s that are not kept at a sufficient standard.
Another 48% of investors are looking for more severe penalties for landlords operating slum HMO’s.
73% believes that rogue landlords give HMO’s a bad reputation, with 50% saying that ensuring their properties are compliant with legislation are a large cause of stress for them.
Further findings from the Citizens Advice Bureau indicate that private landlords take £5.6bn in rent from homes that do not meet legal standards. 1.3bn of this total comes from state housing benefits. The body also said it believes that 740,000 families in England’s private rental sector are residing in properties that give a serious threat to occupants’ health.
In addition, figures from a report conducted by the Residential Landlords Association show that 2,006 landlords were convicted between 2007-15. The average fine given was found to be £1,500.
HMO investors want crackdown on rogues
Daniel Hill, Managing Director of Multi-Let UK comments, ‘as we all know, there’s a dark side to the UK’s rental market with unscrupulous landlords, renting HMO’s to numerous tenants, which are neither safe or secure and openly flouting the law. There is increasing pressure on all landlords with Right to Rent, the new tax rules, ongoing legislation to name but a few. HMO’s are particularly challenging, with complex legal compliance requirements, mandatory and additional licensing, building regulations and an increased governance over the HMO sector.’
‘Despite this, in many areas around the UK there are HMO landlords providing poor quality accommodation which fails to meet the statutory requirements, putting tenants’ wellbeing and potentially lives at risk. More and more councils are re-examining inspection procedures and legislative guidelines surrounding the need for landlords to gain an HMO licence. However, our research shows that there are a large number of HMO landlords who believe that not enough is being done to stamp out slum landlords,’ he continued.
Concluding on a positive note, Hill said, ‘he good news is that the majority of HMO landlords are taking a proactive approach, ensuring there properties meet all the latest legal requirements and regulations. There is also a lot of support available from specialist management firms that will relieve the burden of managing multiple occupancy properties. We have just rolled a national, bespoke management service, Multi-Let UK to help landlords and investors running HMO, or multi-let portfolios.’