Buy-to-let 

Landlords to face bans from April

Landlords to face bans from April

Buy-to-let investors with certain criminal convictions will be banned from renting out property from April under new government rules.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has also said it will introduce a database of "serious and prolific offenders".

Landlords will also need a licence if they want to rent out a property in England to five or more people from two or more separate households.

Today the government has published a list of all the criminal offences which could see a buy-to-let investor banned from renting out property.

These include stalking, harassment, blackmail, theft, burglary and handling stolen goods.

Housing minister Alok Sharma said: "Every tenant has a right to a safe, secure and decent home. But far too many are being exploited by unscrupulous landlords who profit from providing overcrowded, squalid and sometimes dangerous homes.

"Enough is enough and so I’m putting these rogue landlords on notice - shape up or ship out of the rental business.

"Through a raft of new powers we are giving councils the further tools they need to crack down these rogue landlords and kick them out of the business for good."

Since April landlords have been liable for fines of up to £30,000 if they are found to be letting out unsafe or substandard accommodation.

Under the licencing regime, the government is also introducing minimum space requirements, which mean rooms used for sleeping by one adult will have to be no smaller than 6.51 square metres, and those slept in by two adults will have to be no smaller than 10.22 square metres.

Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger will have to be no smaller than 4.64 square metres.

damian.fantato@ft.com

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