Rogue HMO Landlords feel the force of Local Councils

02 March 2012 Categories: News

Rogue HMO Landlords feel the force of Local Councils

Over 40 local councils around England have joined the fight to make HMOs within their boundaries better places to live. A lot of the councils taking part in a licencing scheme for HMOs are in university cities, where the standard of HMOs tends to be lower because the tenants are generally students.

Oxford City Council is the first to impose a full HMO licensing scheme which requires all new HMOs with 3-5 occupants to apply for and attain a licence. The quality of the property and the living conditions are all assessed to ensure better homes for future tenants.

Other councils that are looking into a full licensing scheme include Nottingham, Southampton, Newcastle and Manchester – four of the biggest university cities in England.

The proposed licencing schemes are not being taken in a positive light everywhere though and in Sunderland a group of 30 landlords are refusing to sign up to a new selective HMO licencing scheme. Between them the 30 ‘rogue’ landlords own around 70 properties.

Sunderland County Council has so far issued around 650 licences however 470 of these licences demand that the property landlord makes some kind of improvement.

When asked about the licencing scheme, Derek Welsh, housing and neighbourhood renewal manager for the council said that although most landlords in Sunderland are good landlords some do fail to manage their properties well and as a result they fall into a state of disrepair.

He then went on to say that the council was now in the second stage of the new legislation and that prosecutions would follow.