The Private Rental Sector (PRS) is undergoing a revolution. Key to this sector are Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs): properties with 3 or more people, forming 2 or more households. HMOs often have the potential to generate higher yields for landlords than standard single dwellings and as such attract investors into the sector. They can also offer more affordable accommodation to tenants than single bed flats or studios thereby serving an important role in the PRS.
There are over 4.7 million households in the UK PRS. Some of these properties are unsuitable to rent; not correctly complying with standards, not having the right licenses in place to prove they have been inspected and granted suitability for tenancy or habitation. Let alone environmental inspection for health and safety checks by Local Authorities.
HMO regulations were updated in October 2018 to increase the reach of Mandatory Property Licensing. Prior to this point, only large HMOs comprising three floors, or more were licensable, but this storey requirement has been removed, increasing the number of properties requiring a Mandatory licence from circa 60k to 220k. The housing minister has also announced a new scheme to help those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless to secure their own home via a funding pot of £19.5 million.