Education HMO Investing Wendy Whittaker-Large  

HMO Compliance

It’s not the most fun part of having an HMO, but it’s absolutely necessary to remain on the right side of the law – unless you want hefty fines!

In recent years, there have been a number of additions to the legal obligations of landlords and investors. The COVID-19 pandemic also brought forward a range of temporary measures. Some emergency measures are being wound down now, but there are other additional reforms in the pipeline, so here we take a look at the latest changes.

1. End of Eviction Ban

As a part of temporary emergency COVID-19 restrictions, a ban on evictions was put in place in England and Wales. However, this ban came to an end on 31st May, allowing you to regain your HMO room if you need to issue a Section 8 or Section 21 notice. You still will have to abide by the timescales as laid down by the government, but it means there is more chance to evict any problem tenants you have.

2. Right to Rent Checks

Anyone renting out a property is required to carry out a right to rent check on a potential tenant to verify that a tenant can legally live and rent a property in England. Temporary measures had been put in place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to allow these checks to be done remotely via video call.

These checks are now required to be face-to-face again, and require you (or your agent) to make sure that after 6 months, the right to rent is still in place. Click here for further guidance.

3. Electrical Safety Requirements

All landlords have a legal duty to ensure their property is safe before and throughout the duration of a tenancy. Any electrical equipment and appliances provided on the property need to adhere to current safety guidelines and be properly certificated.  

Previously, the Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (England) Regulations 2006 put specific electrical safety duties on HMO landlords. However, this has now been repealed, and the new electrical safety standards have been put in place for all privately rented properties since 1 April 2021. This requires landlords to have all electrical installations in their rental properties inspected and tested at least every five years.

4. Renters’ Reform Bill

We have heard the rumblings of details likely to be part of this new Bill, which was announced in the Queen’s speech this year. This bill is expected to scrap Section 21 evictions, which will end your ability to evict tenants without a good reason.

A lifetime deposit scheme, allowing tenants to transfer their deposit from one property to another, is set to be introduced as well. It will be interesting to see just how practical this will be to implement.

More detail is expected in the Autumn on the Renters Reform Bill. Make sure you make your voice heard on these issues. If you don’t agree with them, tell your local MP, share your reasons on social media. Don’t stay quiet! Your position and opinion matters.


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