The buy-to-let market has grown almost immeasurably in recent years. Letting rooms with shared facilities can reap dividends if your property suits this approach.
Of course, whichever approach a landlord takes, the vast majority are honourable, respect regulations and provide their tenants with a pleasant home in which to live. Indeed, official figures released by government suggest that 84% of private renters are satisfied with their accommodation and stay for an average of 3.5 years. Reality, however, dictates that there will unfortunately be a small minority who disrespect the needs of their tenants and provide sub-standard living conditions – more often than not, houses of multiple occupancy (or HMOs as they are known) are particularly susceptible to this.
It is because of this that increased regulation of the sector has been mooted by the government.
Already much has been done to tackle the issue and next up is a proposal to extend the scope of mandatory licencing of HMOs – a consultation ran on this during the latter part of last year and its findings are yet to be announced by Government. Under consideration is extending licencing to houses of just two stories (whereas at the moment it applies to larger properties) as these have increasingly been seen to be exploited by unscrupulous landlords. Even those of just a single story such as flats and bungalows, but also non-traditional abodes such as garages, could be included and it’s been mooted that room size itself may also come under scrutiny.
The Government is yet to announce what the consultation process found, but in the meantime if you’re a landlord of a HMO and want to ensure you’re doing everything possible to ensure the safety and comfort of your tenants then the team at Andrews is available to answer any queries you may have – there are five branches across Oxfordshire. Tenants concerned about the standards being offered in the residence where they live should contact the local council who can advise on what they should expect as a tenant.