The new government proposal to bring in a minimum room size won’t stop sublet scams according to Landlord Action reports landlordtoday.co.uk

In the consultation paper the government looks at ways to expand the current house in multiple occupation (HMO) licensing to include smaller and medium sized properties.  Its aim is to set minimum room sizes to 6.5 square metres (70sqft) which in turn should make it easier for local authorities to enforce higher standards in these types of rented accommodation. 

Paul Shamplina, founder of Landlord Action said “One of the biggest problems with implementing any new legislation is enforcement. Local councils do not have enough resources as it is, with environmental health officers already responsible for monitoring overcrowding, subletting, poor conditions, and most recently retaliation eviction” adding “ There is no room in our sector for rogue landlords, but to tackle the problem properly, legislation needs to be backed up by more boots on the ground,”

Mr Shamplina also pointed out another key issue in that rogue tenants posing as landlords were subletting properties without the landlords knowledge, with some tenants erecting partition walls to create additional smaller rooms.  He said “Landlord Action has never seen so many subletting cases as it has over the last two years, with an 18% increase. This has been fuelled by sky high rents preventing some tenants from being able to afford even single-unit accommodation, forcing many to resort to bedsits or shared accommodation.”

These additional rooms could pose a serious health and safety problem especially for fire safety and reiterates the need for landlords to undertaking thorough tenant reference checks and regular property visits. Why not check out our Landlords Tips and Guides ection for more information about tenant agreements and referencing.

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