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Licencing Laws Likely to Apply to Hundreds of Additional HMOs

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

From October 1 legislation covering Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) will be extended, making it a criminal offence for certain landlords to operate without a licence.

The private rented sector is significant in Cheshire West and Chester and it is estimated the legislation will cover an additional 400 HMOs in the borough outside of the current licensing rules.

Back in 2006 the Government introduced mandatory licensing for properties of three or more storeys occupied by five or more unrelated tenants. However, from October it will include all HMOs with five or more unrelated tenants. Landlords will have to meet required standards in relation to smoke alarms, fire precautions, room sizes, kitchen and bathroom facilities and the storage of refuse.

Landlords without a valid licence after October 1 will be subject to enforcement action.

Councillor Angela Claydon, cabinet member for housing, said: "As a council our aim is to improve housing conditions in the private rented sector and the new mandatory licensing of HMOs will play an integral role in helping us to achieve this aim."

"All tenants, including private tenants, deserve to live in good housing and we will do whatever it takes to ensure tenants are protected, including issuing fines and taking enforcement action where necessary."