Pressure on rogue landlords steps-up in South Northamptonshire

Landlords who own homes of multiple-occupancy (HMOs) in South Northants risk having to pay back rent if they do not work with the council to ensure their property is safe and habitable.

Published: Tuesday, 19th March 2019

HMOs make a valuable contribution to meeting housing needs in South Northamptonshire but landlords must ensure their properties meet the required living standards and fire regulations.

Cllr Karen Cooper, South Northamptonshire Council’s portfolio holder for Wellbeing, said: “Licensing was introduced to drive up standards and help make larger HMOs safer places to live in.

“We’ve been writing to landlords to ensure they are not in breach of the legislation, but tenants and neighbours can also contact us if they think a property should have a HMO licence.

“Landlords who do not obtain an HMO licence for their properties or fail to comply with fire regulations potentially could be putting their tenants and their neighbours at risk.”

Mandatory licensing of HMOs came into force in 2006 and applied to properties of three storeys or more occupied by five or more people representing two or more separate households.

After October 2018 the new legislation removed the number of storeys as a factor.

Anyone who owns a home that requires a HMO licence is committing an offence if they let the property without one and could be prosecuted and a fined up to £30,000.

Landlords and agents who operate a HMO without a licence may also, in certain cases, have to repay rent to existing and former tenants.