Government cracks down on rogue landlords

Michael Lloyd

January 2, 2018

The government has announced measures to crack down on rogue landlords who let overcrowded homes.

Subject to parliamentary clearance landlords renting properties with five or more tenants from two different households will need to be licensed.

There will be a minimum size for bedrooms and tougher licensing regime for house shares.

Housing minister Alok Sharma said: “Every tenant has a right to a safe, secure and decent home. But some are being exploited by unscrupulous landlords who profit from providing overcrowded, squalid and sometimes dangerous homes.

“Enough is enough and so I’m putting these rogue landlords on notice – shape up or ship out of the rental business.

“Through a raft of new powers we are giving councils the further tools they need to crack down on these rogue landlords and kick them out of the business for good.”

Ministers also signalled new space standards for housing of multiple occupancy and set out details of criminal offences that will bar someone from becoming a landlord.

In housing multiple occupations (HMOs), rooms will have to be no smaller than 6.51 sq metres (70 sq ft) if used for sleeping by one adult.

Rooms will have to be no smaller than 10.22 sq metres if slept in by two adults.

And rooms slept in by children aged 10 or younger will have to be at least 4.64 sq metres in size.

Councils will be able to make sure only rooms meeting the standard are used for sleeping and ministers will set out criminal offences barring people from becoming landlo0rds.

Ministers intend to make landlords responsible for following council rules on recycling.

Someone convicted of offences including burglary and stalking and burglary, from April, can be added to the database of rogue landlords and barred from renting out properties.

Most councils had failed to secure a single landlord prosecution, figures published at the end of October revealed.

Meanwhile in an interview with The Independent, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn pledged that his party would scrap laws allowing landlords to evict tenants for no reasons under ‘no-fault’ elections.

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