In October last year, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government extended HMO licencing requirements to include another 170,000 properties. Government claimed that the new rules would help protect another 850,000 more people in privately rented homes from poor living conditions and overcrowding.
Previously, the rules only applied to properties of three or more storeys. But now all properties will be covered if the landlord lets out a property to five or more people, from two or more separate households that share facilities. Those landlords must get a licence from their local housing authority.
Also, under the new rules, all bedrooms must be at least 6.5sqm and councils must ensure tenants have suitable space to store their rubbish outside of the home. At the time, Housing Minister Heather Wheeler MP said: “There are currently around 60,000 licensable HMOs but from today a further 170,000 will require licences. An estimated 4m people live in private rented homes, and now at least 1.1m people that live in licensable HMOs will benefit from the protection provided by HMO licensing.”
Are house sharers getting older?
Recent data from property sharing platform, ideal flatmate, has looked at the changing face of the house share landscape and how more and more people above the age of 50 are prepared to be house sharers as a viable way of living.
Sharing houses has become a popular choice for many, particularly in major UK cities, where the cost of renting is too high to tackle alone. House sharers traditionally have been younger people, with those aged 18-25 accounting for 43%, while another 36% are in the 25-35 age group. As people become older, they are normally less likely to be house sharers, with 35-45 year-olds making up 13%, 45-55 year-olds 6%, and just 2% of house sharers aged over 55.
However, this trend is starting to change, according to ideal flatmate, which reported that so far this year it has seen an increase of 74% in the number of over 50s using the platform compared to 2018, indicating that the older generation is coming around to the idea of being house sharers.