A citywide licensing scheme has been launched in Oxford, the first in the UK, where landlords are now required to register a House in Multiple Occupation whether it is small or large, according to Landlord Zone
Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) are so called if you have at least three tenants, forming more than one household, who share a toilet, the bathroom or kitchen facilities. It used to be that only large HMOs required a licence but these new requirements will see smaller HMOs subject to licensing. A large HMO is classified as:
– Five or more tenants who form more than one household
– The property has three or more storeys
Oxford has around 5,000 HMOs, 1,000 of which are large and subject to mandatory licences.
Councils will look at a variety of criteria when deciding to issue an HMO licence, including:
– Number of proposed tenants
– Kitchen, bathroom and toilet facilities
– Whether the Landlord is fit and proper
– HMO management arrangements
Poor quality homes within the private rented sector can be found in every city. Should HMO licensing become mandatory nationwide quality levels would have to increase considerably before many landlords would be granted an HMO licence. As well as the usual conditions for renting out a property councils could set additional conditions such as:
– Management and condition of the HMO
– Tenant behaviour and how you deal with it
Tenants living in an HMO can contact their local council if they believe the standards are unreasonable or defects are present. The council will then ensure that landlords take appropriate remedial action.
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