All Bristol landlords could soon have to licence small HMOs, while those in the Bishopston and Ashley Down, Cotham, and Easton wards are bracing themselves for a proposed selective licensing scheme.
The council has launched a consultation on plans to drive up standards as it reports that previous licensing schemes have proved a success.
The first discretionary scheme ran from 2013 to 2018 in the Stapleton Road area and licensed 1,207 properties. Of these, 396 properties had at least one serious hazard resolved, 845 required improvements to meet licensing conditions, and 10 landlords were prosecuted for 37 offences.
The Eastville and St George selective and additional licensing scheme ran from 2016 to 2021, issuing 3,316 licences. It reports that 3,019 properties were improved to meet licensing standards, and 675 had fire safety improvements made. An additional HMO licensing scheme is now in place in 12 central Bristol wards, which will run until July 2024, alongside Horfield, Bedminster and Brislington West, which were added last April.
Councillor Tom Renhard (pictured), cabinet member for housing delivery and homes, says it will write to landlords and tenants during a consultation on the additional and selective schemes that closes on 7th November.
He promises landlords will be offered advice and guidance on the improvements required to ensure their properties comply with licensing conditions.
Renhard adds that those in private rented accommodation have lived for too long without adequate protections and very limited options to guarantee decent living standards.
“While we know that the majority of landlords offer good quality homes and have positive relationships with their tenants, these additional measures would allow us to take action where this is not the case,” he says.
The council has also been investigating the impact of rent regulation across the city.