New rules are being introduced later this year for Houses in Multiple Occupation - HMOs.
Landlords who rent out houses to five or more tenants, from two or more separate households, must have a local authority licence, from 1st October.
These new rules include minimum bedroom sizes in shared houses. The rules also require Landlords to take responsibility for their tenant's rubbish.
The Government says this to protect tenants from poor living standards in homes owned by a small number of landlords renting out overcrowded homes in an unsafe condition.
A guidance document standardises HMO rules across England and details a new definition of an HMO that requires a licence.
The Housing Minister says :
Everyone deserves a decent and safe place to live.
“The new guidance for landlords will further protect private renters against bad and overcrowded conditions and poor management practice.”
“Some opportunist rogue landlords who exploit their vulnerable tenants rent out sub-standard, overcrowded and potentially dangerous accommodation. The growth of HMOs has also had an impact on the local community, including where inadequate rubbish storage leads to pest infestation and health and safety problems.”
“Following extensive consultation, we have acted to combat rogues from being able to operate substandard accommodation for maximum profit by extending the scope of mandatory HMO licensing so that properties used as HMOs in England which house five people or more in two or more separate households will in many cases require a licence.”