Coventry Council is hailing its crackdown on unlicensed HMOs a success after it fined landlords more than £100,000 in just two of the city’s streets.
A pilot project on Monks Road and Carmelite Road also aimed to tackle residents’ concerns about waste levels and an information drive involved handing out information on tenants’ rights and responsibilities.
Enforcement officers made visits to monitor waste issues, check that there were enough wheelie bins for the number of tenants and gave advice about the problem of leaving excess waste and overflowing bins.
Residents were reminded to remove their bin from the kerbside while notices were also served on two properties because of waste in the gardens.
Officers reminded landlords that a breach of the licence condition was a criminal offence and invited them to contact the team if they were unsure about their legal duties.
During the visits, five properties were found to be unlicensed; four of them collectively received penalties of more than £100,000.
Councillor David Welsh (pictured below), cabinet member for housing and communities, says the authority wants to continue this approach where it can.
“Local people are fed up with overflowing bins, and we needed to use a combination of education and enforcement action,” he explains.
“We wanted to make the neighbourhood better and reduce the amount of waste building up on the kerbside.
“Part of our approach was to link different services together and talk to landlords and highlight the need to keep the neighbourhood cleaner.”
He adds that more than £7,000 has now been invested by landlords in the area to ensure that their properties meet the minimum legal standards. “Feedback from residents has been good but we can’t be complacent.”
Some residents have now become ‘street champions’ to help with reporting problems.