New planning laws that require landlords to obtain planning permission to rent a property to three or more unrelated people have sparked fears across the country. Previously, permission was only required if a property was to be rented out to five or more individuals. There are concerns that the new law, which came into force this month, may push up rents at a time when an increasing number of people are renting privately because they are unable to afford the greater deposits required to purchase a home.
There are also concerns that the new law will deter some landlords from offering multiple-occupancy properties, whilst others may flout the new requirements, putting tenants at risk. The changes will also mean increased costs for landlords. Not only do they have to pay for the application but they may also be required to make changes to the property, such as improving facilities and installing fire doors.
The changes do not apply to the 400,000 pre-existing houses under multiple occupation, but these properties will come under the new law if landlords change their tenancy arrangements. The National Union of Students has expressed concern about the changes to the housing minister, John Healey, and the Residential Landlords Association is considering an action for judicial review.
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