New HMO rules welcomed as North Somerset sees rise in overcrowding complaints
PUBLISHED: 10:00 31 July 2018
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The councillor responsible for housing in North Somerset has welcomed a change in legislation for houses of multiple occupation (HMOs).
From October this year, landlords who rent out properties to five or more people from two or more households will need to obtain a HMO licence.
The council has seen a rise in complaints about overcrowding, and police and immigration authorities have been involved in some cases.
Councillor Elfan Ap Rees, who has responsibility for housing, said: “We welcome this change in government legislation as we continue to work hard to improve property standards in the private rented sector.
“We know many landlords provide privately rented accommodation of a very high quality. However some landlords do very little to maintain and improve their properties. Poor housing conditions can impact on tenants’ health and wellbeing, and also affects the wider community.
“Any property of any size that is rented to five or more people from two or more different households – whether that’s families, cohabiting couples or separate individuals – and who are sharing amenities must have an HMO licence from October.
“This means the property will have to meet licensing conditions and minimum standards and fire safety protocols, ultimately helping to improve the quality of housing for tenants living in these privately rented properties.
“Unfortunately we have seen an increase in complaints of overcrowding in smaller properties which have needed to involve our colleagues in the Police and even Immigration to tackle concerns so it’s important we have adequate legislation to improve the management and conditions of these smaller HMOs.”