Mandatory licensing of HMO’s
will help prevent ‘studentification’ problems
THE National Association of
Estate Agents (NAEA) stated on 25 January 2006 that the introduction
of licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) should help
prevent problems experienced in local communities by so-called ‘studentification’.
The mandatory licensing of HMOs is being introduced to ensure that
properties let to more than one household at a time are being
properly managed and maintained. Households that will fall into this
group include, for example, all houses rented by five or more
unrelated persons who share a kitchen and bathroom in a property
which has three or more storeys, like a typical student home.
The licensing, which is due to come into effect on 1 April 2006,
brings with it the requirement for a ‘fit and proper person’ to have
full responsibility for the management of such properties. This
means that a single person or letting agent will be responsible for
the property and, therefore, the behaviour of those in residence. It
will be in the best interests of letting agents to ensure that
students behave in a manner that is respectful of local residents as
poor behaviour would reflect negatively on their businesses.
Problems regularly reported to NAEA members that are caused by
* Untidy exterior of property, from poorly maintained gardens
to leaving cycles strewn across pavements
* Rubbish, over-spill from bins,
potentially attracting rats
* Noise - from loud music
internally and revellers making their way home
Jan Bartlett, Lettings expert at the NAEA, comments:- “Good
landlords and letting agents will already have procedures in place
for dealing with such problems. This could include providing bike
racks and gardeners, and visiting noisy tenants, day or night, to
make them aware of any discomfort they are causing to their
The fact that the law will require a single person to take
responsibility for a HMO in the very near future is great news for
residents currently experiencing this type of problem.”
Peter Bolton King, Chief Executive at the NAEA, concludes:-
“For those who can’t wait until 1 April to have their problem solved
it is worth noting that local authorities have powers to force
letting agents to sort out problem tenants in a speedy and
professional manner. This can be much more difficult to enforce if
the property in question has been let out privately.”
Wirral business hits the fast track
business that provides warranties on new homes has been named as one
of the fastest growing private companies in the UK.
MD Insurance Services has raced to fifth place in the Sunday Times
Fast Track 100 list by boosting sales from £333,000 to £7.2 million
in just three years.
Managing Director Gary Devaney says it was support from Business
Link for Greater Merseyside in the early stages that made such
explosive growth possible. “Our Premier Guarantee brand
now has over £10 billion of new homes under warranties and Business
Link provided the building blocks for this success.
They supported a project with Liverpool based consultancy CCUK,
which writes bespoke local & group wide database applications,
updates current applications and link office data to online
websites, to develop a web-based database that could allow us to
evolve and grow and provide a top-class service. The business has
just expanded from there and we now even have our own IT
Gary, a former pupil of Caldy Grammar School, founded MD Insurance
in 1997 and only took on his first staff in 1999.
With banks unwilling to release mortgages for new homes without a
structural warranty, the company broke into a rewarding new market
when it won a government licence to offer such warranties.
Now the company has over 40 staff and, with customers that include
Wimpey and Britannia homes, Premier Guarantee is one of the main
rivals to NHBC.
The main target markets are the UK and the Channel Islands as well
as Ireland where the company’s rapid expansion has been fuelled by
the recent building boom.
Andy Jones of Business Link said:- “Business Link is delighted
to have played a key role in such a remarkable success story, as
well as finding the right IT consultants for their IT needs we
provided assistance with location of premises and introductions to
local strategic partners.”
Gary Devaney admits that all the signs suggest that MD Insurance
Services will stay in the fast track for the future.
“We’re expecting to achieve sales of around £12 million for the
current financial year and are targeting a £23 million turnover for
For further information on how Business Link for Greater Merseyside
can help your business contact our customer service team on 0845 330