Local authorities will be given new powers to tackle rogue landlords who rent overcrowded properties.
Councils will now be able to impose fines of up to £30,000 on those who do not comply with new standards, under measures outlined by housing minister Heather Wheeler in parliament today.
From October, councils will be able to set minimum bedroom size standards and also introduce limits on how many people can live in each bedroom of a licenced multiple occupancy home.
The Government says the move will help ensure tenants have the space they need and deserve as well as reduce health and safety risks they face by sharing cooking and washing facilities with too many people.
The new standards will apply to all landlords seeking new licences. Landlords of existing properties will be given up to 18 months to make necessary changes when re-applying for a licence when it expires.
Under new laws, landlords will also be required to provide adequate waste storage facilities in line with their local authority’s rules, in a move to stop rubbish piling up outside some shared rented homes.
These latest measures build on wider government action to drive up standards in the private rented sector by tackling bad landlords. This includes the launch of a new database of rogue landlords and introduction of banning orders for the worst offenders coming into force next month.
Wheeler says: “Everyone deserves a decent and safe place to live. But some tenants are being exploited by a minority of unscrupulous landlords who profit from renting out cramped and sometimes squalid or dangerous properties.
“Today’s measures will mean landlords must provide adequate space for their tenants or face a hefty fine. It is part of a raft of new powers for councils to crack down on rogue landlords and comprehensive action we are taking to improve conditions for private tenants.”