The suggestions made by the DCLG and the Housing Minister intend to make it easier for local authorities to raise standards in houses used as shared homes by extending mandatory licensing to smaller and medium sized properties, in order to bring an end to callous landlords who exploit their tenants and charge them extortionate rents to live in cramped conditions.
The existing rules apply to homes of three storeys, but it has now been suggested that the rules also apply to more shared homes, including those that are one-two storeys, as well as poorly converted blocks of flats and flats above and below shops, while Mr Lewis also wants to set a minimum size of rooms in line with existing overcrowding standards.
Additionally, the Government is reviewing the information requirements when applying for a licence in order to simplify and speed up the process.
The discussion paper is available to view at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/extending-mandatory-licensing-of-houses-in-multiple-occupation-and-related-reforms.
Responses are due on 18th December 2015.
The Housing Minister (left), who was a keynote speaker at The Negotiator Conference & Expo, last week, commented, “It is simply unacceptable that people are living in cramped, unsafe accommodation provided by landlords who are more interested in a quick profit than the safety or welfare of their tenants.
“The actions of these rogue landlords are helping fuel illegal working, benefit fraud, and illegal immigration by creating a shadow housing market that carries dangers to people’s health as well as communities.
“The Government is determined to crack down on rogue landlords and these measures, alongside those in the Housing Bill, will further strengthen councils’ powers to tackle poor-quality privately rented homes in their area.”