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Guide to the Housing Act 2004 for the UK Domestic Rental Market

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FACT FILE - The Housing Act 2004 - UK

The Housing Act 2004 received the Royal Assent on the 18th November 2004. Listed below is a summary of Contents of the Act.

  • The Housing Health and Safety Rating System
  • HMOs ** - licensing scope and schemes
  • HMOs ** - licensing requirements
  • Selective licensing of other residential accommodation.
  • Interim and final management orders.
  • Home Information Packs
  • The Right to buy
  • Park Homes
  • Increasing effectiveness of powers to regulate Registered Social Landlords
  • Payment of grants to bodies other than Registered Social Landlords.
  • Anti-social behaviour in social housing.
  • Empty Dwelling Management Orders.
  • Tenancy Deposit Schemes.
  • Rent Repayment orders.
  • Gypsies and Travellers.

Definition of HMO** SEE HMO's Houses in multiple occupation

House in Multiple Occupation means a building, or part of a building (e.g. a flat):

  • Where more than two unrelated tenants share rented property. For big shared houses - defined as those with three or more storeys and five or more occupants - a licence will always be required. Similar rental properties could be affected to as councils will be able to extend licensing to include other types of HMOs or even insistthat all private landlords are licenced.see below
  • That is occupied by more than one household and in which more than one household shares an amenity (or the building lacks an amenity such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities);or,
  • That is occupied by more than one household and which is a converted building that does not entirely comprise self contained flats (whether or not there is also a sharing or lack of amenities); or
  • That comprises entirely of converted self contained flats and the standard of conversion does not meet a minimum, that required by the 1991 Building Regulation and at least one third of the flats are occupied under short tenancies.

And is"Occupied" by more than one household :

  • As their only or main residence,or,
  • As a refuge by persons escaping domestic violence,or,
  • During term time by students,or,
  • For some other purpose that is prescribed in regulation.

And the households comprise:

  • Families (including single persons and co-habiting couples (whether or not of the opposite sex, or,
  • Any other relationship that may be prescribed by regulations, such as domestic staff or fostering or carer arrangements.

Mandatory HMO licensing will be resticted to certain categories of "high risk" HMOs. The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) envisages that this will include those HMOs (as defined by the Act) that comprise of three storeys or more and are occupied by five or more persons, who compromise two or more households and consist, in part or entirely of non-self contained units of accommodation (i.e. with an element of shared facilities).

Converted blocks of flats (i.e.all self contained units with no sharing of facilities) that fall within the definition of an HMO will not be subject to compulsory licensing, but can be licenced under "additional licensing" if they are problematic.

The detailed implementation of HMO licensing regulations will be contained within secondary legislation which is still at consulation stage.

To get get a licence, landlords will need to show an annual gas safety certificate, working smoke alarms, safe electrical appliances and furnishings. They will also have to state the property is suitable for the number of people living in it. Councils will be free to charge different licence fees.

Landlords have until July 2006 to get a licence. If they don't they will face fines of up to £20,000 plus having to repay rent they got while unregistered.If an HMO property doesn't have enough bathrooms the landlord could be asked to install one by a certain date. If one is not installed, the licence could be lost and a £5,000 fine given.

N.B. This information should not be relied on for accuracy and is presented here without the responsibility of jml Property Service and the website it is being displayed at. jml property Services 01/ & 11-05


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See also:

Estate agents assisting with buying or selling overseas property now subject to Anti-Money Laundering regulations- October 2012

Statutory code of Practise on racial equality in housing

Landlord fined 5,500 after double carbon monoxide poisoning in Hackney, London - October 2008

Condensation Problems Click Here

Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme Click Here

Property News - Click Here

Problems with Accepting Housing Benefit in England and Wales - Article by Philip Suter Click Here

How to present your rental property for letting

How not to present your rental property for letting

Buy to Let Uk

Buy to Let Europe

 

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