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SarahBell

Hmo Rules To Be Tightened

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Slough (Think thats where it was) was on radio for having huge number of HMO (at least 3000) and the problems they cause.

They are going to tighten the rules and make registration compulsory for all of them - at moment 5 people in 2 storey house doesn't need to be registered.

Problems - transient population, lack of sense of community, nuisance, landlords not looking after property, area becomes slummy etc.

Will this harm landlord's pockets? Will it make the lives of tenants better? Will it improve areas?

Manchester's lightbowne area has extra tight regulatio due to level of HMO. All landlords there need to be registered.

Saying that it's the taxpayer funding improvements at the moment:

http://www.slough.gov.uk/services/7376.aspx

Are there safety grants available for homes in multiple occupation (HMO) towards fire precautions?

Yes. The council is currently offering up to £5000 per HMO, per landlord, towards fire precautions. For a licensable HMO (3 or more storeys) up to £7500. The grant is per HMO so a landlord can only have one grant and then another grant if resources allow.

HTF is that sensible? Do other businesses get grants to meet their health and safety requirements?

Edited by SarahBell

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The missus works in a Job in s/e Kent, she told me that was a meeting with the council yesterday explaining that all of the houses of multiple occupancy who are receiving housing benefit will need licences.

They were told to expect many claimants coming in saying that they were to be made homeless as they do not expect the landlord property's to comply with current health and safety legislation.

BTW, most of these HMO are old hotels in an old seaside towns, however because the residents are claiming housing benefits they do not class this as a hotel but a house of multiple occupancy so there is no wriggle room calling it a hotel.

I my opinion for some short term pain however the people being made homeless will be in a much better place after being rehoused. After living in accommodation like this myself I would say that 90% of bedsits / HMO are non decent and >75% of the residents are long term unemployed or have mental health illnesses of some kind who will benefit from these new rules.

Expect lots of large old run-down houses / hotels in coastal towns coming to auction soon.

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And?

Does that make them exempt from laws?

Quite right that does not make them exempt.

These hotels were popular destinations in the 60's, 70's & 80's and have been used as HMO since. In my opinion they are modern equivalent of slum areas which need to be bulldozed and desent energy efficient housing built.

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I'd have thought the fire regs for a hotel were as strict as for a hmo...?

Fire regulations for trading hotels are far stricter than HMO's.

For example every (sleeping) room has to have an adequate means of detecting a fire. In the reality of Fire Brigade enforcement this means the latest optical smoke sensors. The escape routes have to be protected with 30 minute fire doors which are set on automatic (hydraulic) closers. In addition each (sleeping room) has to be fitted with a sounder which can achieve 65 decibels at the head of the bed. (in recent years this has led to the sounder being fitted as part of the optical smoke sensing equipment). Hotels also have to have their alarms checked and signed off by a competent (independent) person every 6 Months.

HMO's simply need fire detection equipment in the common areas (hallways) the same for the alarm sounder system. The escape routes (the hallways) should remain clear and the doors which open onto it should again have automatic closers and be FD30..

In reality Hotels are inspected by the Fire Service at least every two years. If they are not happy about anything they will issue improvement/enforcement notices.

HMO's are a different matter very often the authorities do not even know where the landlord lives to arrange inspection (invariably they do not live on the premises). As such the enforcement of these basic safety procedures is very difficult. erto systems fall into disrepair etc.

To enter a premises and declare it unfit for habitation places an enormous burden on the Local Authority as they would have to rehouse vulnerable people turfed out by the enforcement. So they are caught between a rock and a hard place.

Sadly it is going to take a disaster in one of these places that results in multiple deaths before the will to enforce properly can be achieved.

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The missus works in a Job in s/e Kent, she told me that was a meeting with the council yesterday explaining that all of the houses of multiple occupancy who are receiving housing benefit will need licences.

They were told to expect many claimants coming in saying that they were to be made homeless as they do not expect the landlord property's to comply with current health and safety legislation.

BTW, most of these HMO are old hotels in an old seaside towns, however because the residents are claiming housing benefits they do not class this as a hotel but a house of multiple occupancy so there is no wriggle room calling it a hotel.

I my opinion for some short term pain however the people being made homeless will be in a much better place after being rehoused. After living in accommodation like this myself I would say that 90% of bedsits / HMO are non decent and >75% of the residents are long term unemployed or have mental health illnesses of some kind who will benefit from these new rules.

Expect lots of large old run-down houses / hotels in coastal towns coming to auction soon.

Oh my. Someone had better be careful here.

If you have rigid rules to ensure that people get a certain standard of room on HB, then what is going to happen? Huge numbers of people are going to be thrown out of their current accommodation. That will cause the state to have to pay an awful lot of money to rehouse them.

What happens when the state is bidding for housing for 20 people, but there is only room for 15 according to their rules on entitlement? Answer, the price of the room gets bid up and up until the state blows up.

Somehow you have to fit those 20 people into the space available. Sure, more space will help, but it will take time and it comes with a cost.

The market will sort out the conundrum of how to house 20 people, though you might not like the solution. The boneheaded state though, cannot solve it if it cannot come to terms with too many people and not enough housing.

Remind me how high net immigration is?

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Quite right that does not make them exempt.

These hotels were popular destinations in the 60's, 70's & 80's and have been used as HMO since. In my opinion they are modern equivalent of slum areas which need to be bulldozed and desent energy efficient housing built.

Just convert these former Hotels into decent flats. That way you keep the fabric of the place, street scape rather than crappy new "energy-efficient" ugly new builds.

Certainly in seaside towns like Hastings and StLeonards, plagued by Hotels turned into DSS bedsits etc these run down buildings could easily be gentrified into proper family homes or large flats.

Edited by skomer

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Just convert these former Hotels into decent flats. That way you keep the fabric of the place, street scape rather than crappy new "energy-efficient" ugly new builds.

Certainly in seaside towns like Hastings and StLeonards, plagued by Hotels turned into DSS bedsits etc these run down buildings could easily be gentrified into proper family homes or large flats.

Already happening in the North. My Bro in Law was involved in the conversion of this particular development. As far as I can understand EU grant money was being used to buy up the old stock at knock down prices which were then sold (with conditions) to local Housing Asso's for conversions.

Example Conversion

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Just remember most of these have not been hotels since the 80's so they are not up to today's standards.

"Just convert these former Hotels into decent flats. That way you keep the fabric of the place, street scape rather than crappy new "energy-efficient" ugly new builds."

I have been involved in renovation works before. Believe me it is more cost effective and environmental friendly to demolish these Victorian terraces.

New builds do not have to be ugly. If these would benefit from cavity walls, parking.

Just remember.

BUILDINGS DO NOT LAST FOREVER!

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Just convert these former Hotels into decent flats. That way you keep the fabric of the place, street scape rather than crappy new "energy-efficient" ugly new builds.

Certainly in seaside towns like Hastings and StLeonards, plagued by Hotels turned into DSS bedsits etc these run down buildings could easily be gentrified into proper family homes or large flats.

There are few takers for large family homes in the centre of Hastings, that is why it has become slumsville.

tim

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There are few takers for large family homes in the centre of Hastings, that is why it has become slumsville.

tim

Or is it the other way round - families dont want to live in areas full of HMO's? Get rid of them and maybe the area suddenly becomes more desirable

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Or is it the other way round - families dont want to live in areas full of HMO's? Get rid of them and maybe the area suddenly becomes more desirable

Nah.

It's undesirable because there are no local jobs and commuting to London takes too long.

tim

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Anyone heard of a HMO to be refused or is it a case of bringing the property up to the fire regulations and paying the registration fee ?

Looking to rent out apartment in a uni area as going abroad with work. property is a 2004 new build in a purpose built block of just 3 flats

( flat 1 taking the whole of the ground floor, flat 2 all of the first floor and this flat is a duplex spread over all of the second and third floor.)

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2 things:

1. The DWP changed the HB rules a few years ago forcing all singles under age 35 to only qualify for a room in a shared house.

(over 35's entitled to 1 bet flat)

Que the huge increase in HMO's

2. "it will take a disaster in one of these places to change anything"

Here is the disaster: HMO in shirley southampton

gutted by overnight fire, people had to jump from top floor windows.

http://m.dailyecho.co.uk/news/11703519.UPDATE__Fire_rips_through_home_in_Southampton___in_pictures/

i count at least 6 people resident from the story

Edited by workingpoor

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Anyone heard of a HMO to be refused or is it a case of bringing the property up to the fire regulations and paying the registration fee ?

Looking to rent out apartment in a uni area as going abroad with work. property is a 2004 new build in a purpose built block of just 3 flats

( flat 1 taking the whole of the ground floor, flat 2 all of the first floor and this flat is a duplex spread over all of the second and third floor.)

They're very hot on it in Oxford. As a result there are very few HMOs these days. It seems you need 6 bedrooms + to make it worthwhile as you have to get things like emergency lighting, fire doors, sinks in every room etc. It's apparently cut down on house fires, which was one of the problems.

I recently looked at a 3 family house to buy that was being used as an illegal HMO for 6 people, it had rooms partitioned with plasterboard and one guy was living in a room that was made to be exactly the size of a singe bed. The EA said that the LL was selling up because the HMO licence was expiring (yeah right). He wasn't accepting offers below asking so the house is still an illegal HMO and unsold.

The downside is that it is very hard for young people to share now, which means that they have to share 2 bed flats max. which is a problem if you are new to a city for work etc. It's become more difficult to recruit junior employees in Oxford for this reason. I've had people accept jobs, spend the first month living in a B&B or even the youth hostel while looking for a house, and then resign to accept a job elsewhere because they cannot afford to rent a 1 bed flat in the city.

The housing situation in the UK sucks.

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. He wasn't accepting offers below asking so the house is still an illegal HMO and unsold.

Report it to the council/fire brigade

A Lancashire landlord who ignored an enforcement notice issued by the fire service has been fined £10,500 and ordered to pay costs of £12,000.

http://www.landlordtoday.co.uk/news_features/Lancashire-landlord-who-ignored-enforcement-notice-ordered-to-pay-%C2%A322-500

"FRS found that the emergency lighting was in a state of disrepair and there was no suitable system of maintenance in place."

I assume that was a HMO.

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