HMO owners in Gravesham are being given a last chance to get their house in order ahead of a crackdown on unlicensed properties.
The council’s private housing team will carry out checks on HMOs in the Kent borough later this year but is giving landlords the opportunity to work with them before then to ensure they have all the necessary documentation to operate legally.
Councillor Jenny Wallace (pictured), cabinet member for housing services, says officers will visit suspected unlicensed HMOs and follow up with enforcement action where appropriate. The council also hopes tenants will come forward in confidence if they have any concerns about their accommodation.
“While the majority of private landlords in the borough ensure their properties meet all legal requirements, there are some who may not be fully aware of their responsibilities and a very small minority who may simply ignore those requirements,” says Wallace.
“This is their opportunity to get their houses in order with the help of our Private Sector Housing team if they need advice and guidance.”
It is reminding unlicensed landlords that by failing to take action, they face prosecution at magistrates’ court, an unlimited fine, a banning order, and being added to the rogue landlord database.
She adds: “I would urge any landlords who are in any doubt about whether their properties meet all the required standards to talk to us now, before we come calling on them later.”
Landlords can use the council’s HMO checker or call Gravesham’s Private Housing Team on 01474 337921.