A Licence to Bill – The Impoverished Middle Class.

As much as I understand the benefits and desire to see privately rented property maintained to a standard all tenants can be assured on, the implications of landlord licensing dwell dourly for the middle class with the recovering private rental sector. A selection of county councils are implementing ‘Landlord Licensing Fees’ in order to maintain good property management and to ensure private rental homes are not susceptible to anti-social behaviour. The price of landlord licensing fees will potentially be pushed onto their clients, the tenants, decreasing the apparent value-for-money the private rental sector held over the sales market. With mortgage selection criteria being restricted, and an indication that buy-to-let landlords may need 40% deposits*, rental prices are destined to take advantage of the cooling sales sector. The increase in young adults (20-24 year olds) staying at home has already been on the rise, with 26%** of the sample now unable to afford the growing costs of moving out, and this looks destined to increase if blanket licensing surges on. A vast increase in housing in multiple occupation (HMO) must be in the offing, and may be the only affordable way for young adults to leave the nest However, the good news for the property industry is that a dramatic rise in landlords applying for buy-to-let mortgages during the last year has indicated the future of the housing market. The clamouring, from landlords, looking for suitable rental properties to increase their portfolios will multiply competition and see a vast increase in the number of people unable to afford mortgages resigned to an opportunistic private rental market. It is looking increasingly likely that families will be forced to stick together whilst the property market regulates itself, and it would not surprise me if the law on HMO changed to discount family-housing as a loophole. *Source: LettingAgentToday.co.uk (October, 2014) **http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/family-demography/young-adults-living-with-parents/2013/sty-young-adults.html