Shared house landlords face tough action from more councils as new house in multiple occupation (HMO) licensing rules are introduced in some areas.
In Redbridge, East London, councillors are urging HMO landlords with unlicensed homes to come forward without fear of penalties.
The council intends to start a campaign against unlicensed HMOs from September 1, 2014 – and landlords could face fines of up to £20,000 for letting out unsafe properties without permission.,
Councillor Muhammed Javed, cabinet member for housing, said: “The borough has a housing shortage, but I believe it’s the right of everyone to live in a safe and secure accommodation.
“This licensing campaign shows the council are taking the issue seriously and acts as a warning to landlords who don’t comply.”
HMO homes face new licensing regime
Councillors in Northampton are ready to start an article 4 direction requiring licensing for all shared HMOs in several neighbourhoods in the town from November 3, 2014.
Abington, part of Castle, Kingsley, part of Delapre and Briar Hill, Kingsthorpe, part of Obelisk, part of Phippsville, Semilong, Spring Park, part of St James, St David’s, Sunnyside and Trinity are the areas covered by the scheme.
Councillor Mary Markham, Northampton’s cabinet member for housing, said: “This is an opportunity for us to raise the standard of rented accommodation.
“We take action where we can, but these new rules will make it possible for us to do more to tackle the issues we have.
“Most private rented HMOs here are two storey terraced housing and so it makes sense that they are also properly managed under HMO rules and standards.”
Labour plans to license all landlords
Labour councillors in Brighton have revealed they plan to licence all private landlords should they win power in the West Sussex town.
The opposition has announced the scheme would run in a similar way to a pioneering licensing operation in Newham, East London.
Newham licences around 35,000 private rented homes.
Several other councils are considering a similar licensing scheme for buy to lets and HMOs.