A majority (85%) of all landlords are unfamiliar with new laws that could force them to carry out expensive restructuring work on their properties or risk facing punitive fines.
The research by Simple Landlords Insurance, found that 40% of HMO landlords were either unaware or did not know the detail of the changes which will impose minimum standards on room sizes, storage facilities and waste disposal for all HMOs.
Alex Huntley, head of operations at Simple Landlords Insurance, said: “From our research and our conversations with landlords, it’s clear that not everyone is aware of the proposals for new HMO regulations.
“That could leave some with rooms they can no longer rent, undersized living areas – and a serious gap in their income.”
A majority of HMO-owning landlords also do not intend to change their investment strategy based on the legislation according to the research.
The legislation was due to be introduced in the spring this year, but was delayed because of the General Election.
Carl Agar, managing director of property management company Big Red House, and founder of the Home Safe Scheme, said: “The good news is that there’s likely to be a six month grace period for landlords to catch up with the new legislation following its expected introduction in April 2018.
“Transferring from an unlicenced property to a mandatory one is also likely to be pretty simple, and the best news of all is that HMOs can still be a very good investment – in the right area, targeting the right audience, and managed closely.
“I believe licensing can improve the quality of accommodation – and ultimately that’s going to improve the market as a whole.”