Council expands HMO licensing scheme

Sandwell Council in the West Midlands is expanding its HMO licensing scheme to affect all HMOs on the High Street and around the town centre.

As it stands only operators of large homes where five or more people live have to apply for a license, costing £850 over five years.

The scheme is set to be expanded in April 2022, while there will be a three month grace period before councils start enforcing unlicenced properties from July.

Councillor Zahoor Ahmed, Sandwell’s cabinet member for housing, says: “We want to improve housing conditions and make sure that landlords are providing good quality and safe HMOs, so that tenants are protected.

“While we know that many already do this, there are still too many properties that are poorly managed and are in unsafe and unsatisfactory conditions.

“A new approach is needed and we believe that the Additional Licensing Scheme will improve the condition of properties, support good landlords and remove rogue landlords from operating.”

Landlords, tenants, residents, and organisations in and around West Bromwich were consulted, with 77% agreeing with the proposals.

This isn’t the only area of the UK set to expand its licencing scheme, as Leicester is set to bring in a new scheme which controls the number of homes converted in HMOs.

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