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Consultation starts on licensing smaller Houses in Multiple Occupation

Published Friday, 16 April 2021

A 10-week consultation is starting today (16 April) on a new licensing scheme to improve the quality of some of York’s less well-managed privately-rented homes.

Following approval by the council’s executive, the council is starting an Additional Licensing Scheme consultation on extending licensing to a further 2,000, smaller Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). Views on this are being sought from tenants, landlords and partner organisations. HMOs are shared homes, and include houses and flat shares, student homes and bedsits.

Extending licensing arrangements for HMOs with 3 or 4 occupants would ensure a safer, better-managed and even more professionally run private rented sector. This work would focus on the following wards:

  • Clifton
  • Fishergate
  • Fulford and Heslington
  • Guildhall
  • Heworth
  • Hull Road
  • Micklegate
  • Osbaldwick and Derwent

Landlords would benefit from a level playing field, and be offered additional training in property management which would improve the quality and value of the property and encourage tenants to stay longer.

The consultation will run from 16 April to 27 June 2021.

Cllr Denise Craghill, Executive Member for Housing and Safer Communities, said:

York has a significant private rented sector which is home to a diverse mix of people. Many of these HMOs are in areas with more older properties where a wide range of low housing standards has been identified including rooms with no windows, over-crowding, inadequate shared facilities and very low energy efficiency standards.

“Our experience since the Government made licensing of HMOs with 5 or more occupants a legal requirement in 2018, is that this is a very effective way to improve standards and that voluntary schemes have not worked. I am very pleased we are consulting on extending this to the majority of other HMOs in the city.

“Licensing also provides a clear level playing field for good landlords as well as management training. It requires good standards of maintenance and helps to reduce any negative impacts of badly managed HMOs on nearby neighbours.”

Following the consultation, the findings will inform a final decision on an extended licensing scheme later this year.