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Bristol Approve HMO Licensing Scheme

Posted by Richard Ward in

Image courtesy of Flickr, Creative Commons

Following an extensive consultation period, Bristol City Council has decided to enforce an additional HMO licensing scheme in 12 central Bristol wards.

The scheme will impact the following wards: Central, Cotham, Clifton, Clifton Down, Hotwells & Harbourside, Redland, Ashley, Bishopston & Ashley Down, Easton, Lawrence Hill, Southville and Windmill Hill.

The scheme was approved by the Mayor at a recent Council Cabinet meeting and is due to come into force on 8th July 2019 for a period of five years.

The additional licensing covers smaller Houses in Multiple Occupation that do not fall under the existing mandatory scheme and applies where 3 or more occupants, who are unrelated, share the accommodation and some facilities.

It is understood those impacted will need to pay £1,200 for a licence to rent their properties, with the scheme forming part of the council's plan to improve the living standards for private tenants.

Bristol City Council decided to enforce the fee after it found some privately rented homes in disrepair or in an unsafe condition.

According to an independent survey commissioned by the council, one in five properties that were surveyed had hazards that were an immediate risk to the health or safety of tenants.

Commenting on the scheme, cabinet member Paul Smith, said: "We know from experience that licensing is a good way to deal with issues of poor standards of accommodation and inefficient property management."

"As the private rented sector continues to grow, it is vital that we continue to take steps to help protect vulnerable tenants and ensure that everyone in the city has access to decent housing."