Every HMO in Greenwich to be licensedMake Text Bigger
Greenwich Council held a public consultation and ‘apparently’ 80% of residents were in favour of licensing all HMOs in the Area.
Previously only the standard definition of HMOs were required to be licensed by the council. This was for properties over three or more floors five or more tenants. Now it will apply to all HMOs from October 1st this year.
The Council is blaming the move on poor standards in the Private Rental Sector. This is based on figures from 2013 to date eg. 5 years showing there had been 1,330 formal investigations into poor property condition and over 2,200 individual hazards to health and safety reported.
The most common hazards were:
- Safety risks from fire or substandard electrical installations or equipment
- Health risks from living in damp, mouldy or excessively cold properties
- Unsatisfactory kitchen or bathroom and toilet facilities
Greenwich Council have successfully prosecuted 8 landlords in total and the courts have imposed more than £20,000 in fines.
Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment Councillor said: “This extension of licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation delivers on so many fronts it will help us root out rogue landlords renting out substandard and often unsafe accommodation to their tenants. It will aid our targeting of overcrowded HMOs and the waste challenges that come with them such as overflowing bins and fly-tipping.
“This licensing extension also strengthens our resolve in challenging the minority of landlords imposing unacceptable tenancy agreements and conditions on renters often leading to the exploitation of minority groups and vulnerable tenants.”
Further statistics from the full report, which can be seen here:
“The private rented sector in the Royal Borough has grown significantly with over 30,000 households renting privately. In percentage terms, private renting accounts for 29% of the number of households which compares to 17% nationally. The percentage of the private rented sector homes that are run as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) is currently over 20% ( approximately 6,500 HMOs ). This is a significantly high proportion of the market.
“The Royal Borough recognises that many landlords operate responsibly; however, the Royal Borough is concerned about those who rent out HMOs that fail to provide acceptable conditions. There are concerns about poorly managed HMOs with poor tenancy arrangements. Since 2013, the Royal Borough has operated a proactive enforcement programme aimed at tackling rogue landlords. A high level of the properties inspected have been found to be HMOs (78%) and of those the vast majority had hazards to health and safety or management/tenancy issues that required enforcement action. Inspections often uncover overcrowded HMOs, outbuildings being used to accommodate people (Beds in Sheds), unsanitary conditions and exploitation of tenants.”
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