In their July meeting the monthly Wiltshire PEN highlighted some potential changes to HMO rules expected to come in to force from October.
It has been suggested that any 5 bedroom HMO regardless of number of floors will need a licence and that any room with an en-suite OR cooking facilities will be counted as a separate residence, like an apartment, for council tax valuations.
This would mean that for every room with an ensuite or kitchenette within an HMO there would be a separate council tax charge.
For most, renting a room in a shared house is an affordable alternative to taking on the running costs of a whole property, the added expense of council tax for each room will almost certainly make investing in HMO’s less appealing, thus reducing the availability of rooms which could push rents up in itself.
The NLA reported there had been some discrepancies from area to area with regards to how council tax is calculated for HMO’s and that they had called for more clarity on the matter in 2012 and again in 2016. (https://www.landlords.org.uk/
Will this ruling force HMO landlords to increase their rents to cover this additional cost? Will it make renting a room less affordable for the people who need it?