Landlords sell up to escape new licences

Posted: 25 Sep 2006 12:29:08 GMT


            Property News - Landlords sell up to escape new licences

Landlords across the UK are reported to be selling properties in order to avoid charges from new licensing arrangements brought in this April.

Landlords across the UK are reported to be selling properties in order to avoid charges from new licensing arrangements brought in this April.

Analysis by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reveals that almost one in three letting agents claim that landlords with houses in multi-occupation (HMOs) have sold properties, while 15 per cent report that landlords are changing the structure of their buildings.

Sales in England are most common in the south, with a quarter of agents in the eastern region (24 per cent) reporting sales by landlords and 22 per cent in the south east.

Students have been most affected by the changes, with many student tenants finding that the supply of affordable housing has reduced. However, 85 per cent of agents estimate that rental levels have not changed at all as a result of the new rules.

RICS spokesman, Jeremy Leaf, said: "The decrease in houses with multi-occupation will help to cut down on rogue landlords but will cause problems by reducing the number of properties available as landlords decide to withdraw from the sector, so creating an additional burden on the state to house the most vulnerable tenants."

The government imposed the new licensing arrangements, which restricts the number of tenants properties can be let to without incurring HMO charges, on April 6th 2006. HMOs form a small proportion of the total lettings market, with just over three per cent nationally, and cover houses converted into bedsits or flats that are not fully self contained flats.

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