Consultation on Additional HMO Licensing has started

We are running a ten-week consultation on plans to widen the area that is subject to licensing for homes in multiple occupation (HMOs).

The consultation ends on Sunday, 14 July. Anyone wishing to download the report and respond can do so via the online survey or by dropping into the One-Stop Shop at the Guildhall to view a paper copy of the report and collect a paper survey form.

Our current Additional HMO Licensing scheme ends on Saturday 2 November this year and, if approved, the new additional, five-year scheme will come into effect the following day.

Cabinet will consider a report on the proposed scheme, including consultation results, at its meeting on Wednesday 24 July.

Under the new scheme, all HMOs in the enhanced designated area containing three or more occupants from at least two households will need to be licensed, including self-contained flats.

Landlords will need to apply for an HMO licence and failure to do so could result in conviction and an unlimited fine through the courts or a civil penalty of up to £30,000 through the Council’s powers under the Housing and Planning Act 2016.

They might also have to pay back up to a year’s rent to either the tenant, or the Council in the case of Housing Benefit, if a rent repayment order is applied for.

Cllr Stephen Hibbert, Cabinet member for housing and wellbeing, said: “There are far too many unlicensed HMOs across the borough and our enforcement team is doing a great job identifying and tackling them.

“There are many landlords who provide their tenants with excellent service and good quality accommodation, and this new scheme will give us the powers to deal with those who don’t.”

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