Councils nationwide are cracking down on shared house in multiple occupation (HMO) and buy to let properties with new licensing regulations.
Salford City Council, Greater Manchester, has approved a new licensing scheme for 760 private rented homes covering neighbourhoods in Eccles and Barton.
Starting from January 27, 2015 and lasting five years, landlords letting any homes in the neighbourhoods will need a licence.
Failing to register a property will become a criminal offence.
Salford was the first council to introduce selective licensing for private rented homes in 2007.
Hartlepool Council is also launching a selective licensing scheme although residents agreed a previous scheme aimed at tackling anti-social behaviour and other nuisances failed to work.
In London, Islington Council is opening a consultation relating to licensing private rented homes around Holloway Road and Caledonian road.
The council reckons the neighbourhoods are home to around 3,500 tenants living in 600 HMOs.
The council argues the scheme is needed as landlords are unfairly exploiting tenants.
A report suggests that 141 out of 208 private rented homes that were inspected by a council team had health and safety issues, like dirty communal areas, mouse infestations and overcrowding.
The council wants to licence all homes shared by three or more unrelated tenants in the neighbourhoods.
Meanwhile, nearby Barnet Council wants to introduce planning controls to stop private landlords converting large family homes into HMOs without permission.
Councillors in Worcester want to licence small HMOs housing three to five tenants.
The council is planning to launch a consultation that will require 2,000 private rented homes to be licensed at a cost of £670 every five years.
Cllr David Wilkinson, the cabinet member for safer and stronger communities, said: “This is not cut and dried; we are looking at a consultation over this because we want to get people’s views.
“There was a suggestion at one time that this should be extended to all private properties, but a report which went to the cabinet last year said the council didn’t have the evidence to support that.
“The idea is to introduce a level playing field – at the moment some HMOs have to pay to be on a list and some don’t.”