HMO apocalypse off mark says analyst

Posted: 18 Oct 2006 11:56:47 GMT


            Property News - HMO apocalypse off mark says analyst

The more doom-laden predictions of the effects of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) legislation have not come to pass, Moneyfacts has claimed

The more doom-laden predictions of the effects of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) legislation have not come to pass, Moneyfacts has claimed.

The regulations cover a relatively small section of the market. Nonetheless, the rules have had a pronounced impact in the six months since they were launched, it added.

The number of landlords investing in HMO property has fallen from nine to six per cent over the past three months, amid confusion over the licensing system.

Others have reduced the number of tenants in their properties to avoid the rules. Of particular concern are disparities in the cost of the licences across the country.

Some local authorities are charging more than ten times the fees of others, ranging from £150 up to £1,750 and averaging £515, despite only being intended to recoup costs.

"Perhaps some councils are using this new legislation as a way of boosting their coffers," speculated Lee Tillcock of Moneyfacts.

"The procedure and enforcement of HMO licences differs from council to council, each ensuring compliance through their own guidelines, timelines, and criteria, but surely this doesn't explain the vast difference in licence costs.

"Regulatory implementation in the form of licences must be enforced fairly to simplify the process, or we could find rogue-like councils taking the place of unscrupulous landlords."

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