Landlords urged to start preparing for changes to Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) in Suffolk
Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils are writing to Letting Agents and private landlords to warn them of Government changes over the licensing of House of Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
From October 1 any landlord who lets a HMO to five or more people, must be licenced by their local housing authority. Previously only landlords operating HMOs that were three storeys or higher with five or more tenants, had to be licenced.
Councillor Jan Osbourne,Leader of the Council said: “We want to work with our local landlords for the good of their tenants and keep them aware of the changes that affect them and their tenants and the support and advice that we, and our partner agencies, can provide.
We expect standards to improve under these regulations and we are working with partners, including the Fire Service, and other local councils to ensure that this builds on the work that we are already doing particularly around fire safety.”
Landlords must have submitted their HMO licence applications by the 1st October 2018 to ensure new licences are ready to be issued by the 1st October 2018 to comply. Any landlord that fails to comply with the Government regulations on HMOs are committing an offence under the Housing Act 2004 and could be fined up to £20,000 in the Magistrates Court.
Cllr Jill Wilshaw, Cabinet Member for Housing said: “Overall, although we have these powers, we want landlords to work with us which is why we will be sending letters to the landlords of unlicensed HMOs that we know have five or more tenants. We are also updating our website with a new HMO application form as well as a document that will give helpful information and guidance.”
Landlords who want to find out more should contact firstname.lastname@example.org