West Northamptonshire Council could get tougher on Northampton’s HMOs after launching a long-awaited review into the sector.
It will investigate claims that its 1,300 registered HMOs are having a detrimental impact on the local community with issues raised including general poor maintenance, rubbish causing a fire hazard and streets crammed with parked cars.
Deputy leader, councillor Adam Brown, says the review will include a robust analysis of current policies concerning HMOs in Northampton, as well as ways to use best practice from elsewhere in the country. He adds: “We wanted to get the review started as quickly as possible, but we’re also aware of the fact that it needs to be done as thoroughly and as well as it can possibly be done in order to deliver the results that will have the faith of the public. There’s never any point in rushing through an inadequate process and leaving people unsatisfied with the results at the end of it all.”
As part of the study, the local authority will quiz landlords, tenants, estate and letting agents, residents and resident associations, colleges, businesses, students and key workers. A resulting draft report will provide another opportunity for stakeholders to give their views and it expects to make a final decision in the Autumn. The review was originally announced last year and should have been completed in April.
The council introduced an additional licensing scheme, covering properties with three or four occupants in two or more houses, in February 2020.