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Landlords face fines up to £30,000 if they don’t register for new multiple occupancy licence

Published: Thursday, 20 September, 2018

Landlords who own or manage Houses of Multiple Occupation and who fail to apply for a licence could face a fine of up to £30,000 and may have to repay rent to their tenants.

A Licensable House of Multiple Occupation is currently classified as three storeys or more, lived in by five or more people in two or more separate households. Mandatory licensing of HMOs came into force in 2006 and has been credited with driving up standards for occupants.

The government has planned a number of changes to the existing system which include:

  • No minimum number of storeys
  • National minimum room sizes
  • Facilities to store and dispose of domestic refuse must comply with local authority schemes

There are currently 21 licensed HMOs in the Stroud district. A recent housing survey suggests that the changes will increase the number to around 150.

Failure to comply with the new scheme by the implementation date of October 1 means that landlords may be subject to a fine of up to £30,000 and any tenant living there can apply for a Rent Repayment Order to reclaim the rent paid during the unlicensed period.

Cllr Chas Townley, chair of Stroud District Council’s Housing Committee said:

“The increased protection for tenants is good news, especially for the small minority who live in sub-standard or overcrowded homes. The council’s Environmental Health Housing team will be happy to give advice to anyone who thinks they may be affected – whether a landlord or tenant.”

Anyone who believes they fall under the new conditions should read the advice at www.stroud.gov.uk/hmo or contact the Environmental Health Housing Renewal team by email at environmental.health@stroud.gov.uk or by phone on 01453 754478.

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