Martin Lewis warns landlords could owe tenants '80 per cent of rent' back

Landlords could owe tenants thousands, Martin Lewis has warned. Martin, the BBC Sounds podcast presenter, has launched a spin-off series of his popular weekly show for listeners as the Cost of Living crisis continues across the country.

In the first episode, Mr Lewis focussed on all things renting. Warning renters, the ITV regular, who has his own show The Martin Lewis Money Show, as well as stints on Good Morning Britain and This Morning, said: "If the landlord hasn't followed the rules of licencing, you could be owed thousands of pounds of back rent."

Ben Leonard from ACORN was a guest on the podcast, which dropped yesterday (Monday June 10). Mr Leonard discussed Mr Lewis' tips alongside him and explained how had a personal experience with this exact situation.

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He recalled staying in a house share a few years ago, revealing: "I actually took my landlord to court because I was living in an unlicensed HMO. My landlord didn't have a licence so we got 80 per cent of our rent back."

Ben explained that the HMO-specific licencing is an extra set that landlords need to ensure they have met "minimum standards" for the number of occupants in their property. He said it "differs from council to council".

But he warned: "It's not just about making your rent back and getting a nice payday. It's also about making sure the home you live in is safe to live in." Among some of the restrictions are all baths, showers and wash hand basins in an HMO "must be equipped with taps providing an adequate supply of cold and constant hot water."

All bathrooms in an HMO must be suitably and adequately heated and ventilated and must be of an adequate size and layout, too. There must be a kitchen, suitably located in relation to the living accommodation and the kitchen must have a layout and be of a size and be equipped with such facilities to adequately enable those sharing the facilities to store, prepare and cook food.

HMOs licensed in England under Part 2 of the Housing Act 2004 are required to contain a condition relating to minimum room sizes, too.