Stealth tax on landlords


Local authorities will collect a whopping £79million from 77,000 landlords this month as new licensing rules come into effect. HMO licensing – which stands for houses in multiple occupation – already applies to landlords who rent their properties to five or more tenants from two or more different households where the property is three or more storeys. But from 1 October, any property let to five or more tenants from two or more households will be caught by the rules – regardless of the number of floors.

The changes to the law are set to affect over 160,000 properties in England and Wales, with 77,194 landlords being expected to apply for the new licence. Licence fees alone will hit English landlords with a bill for £1,027 each (£495 per property). Experts also estimate landlords will have to spend around three hours per property applying for licences, familiarising themselves with legislation and taking time out to facilitate property inspections.