Buy-to-let sector faces up to HMO regulation

Posted: 06 Jul 2006 09:48:18 GMT

            Property News - Buy-to-let sector faces up to HMO regulation

The grace period for adhering to new regulations for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) is now over, leaving the buy-to-let sector with a number of key considerations.

Landlords who fail to comply may well find themselves with fines of as much as £20,000, as part of the government's attempt to improve standards in the rented property market.

But according to Business Moneyfacts, compliant landlords should also remain alert, with further regulation next year set to leave the industry with new concerns.

Currently, HMOs with three or more storeys and occupied by five or more occupants from two or more families require a mandatory licence. Student properties often fall into this category and landlords in student cities around the UK have been spending the last three months meeting the various administrative demands.

Business Moneyfacts' editor, Lee Tillcock, said: "It is too early to identify the full effects of the HMO legislation, with recent reports from Mortgage Trust and Paragon both pointing to a buoyant market. Allowing for the transitional period, a future study will be more conclusive," he added.

Significantly, the Housing Health and Safety Ratings System (HHSRS) will be introduced next year, as well Residency Property Tribunals, Empty Dwelling Management Orders, Tenancy Deposit Schemes and Local Housing Allowance.

All are set to place further demands on investor landlords, but there are also hopes that all will contribute to a much fairer rented sector.

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