New national rules have come into force which could see landlords in Stafford Borough face fines of up to £30,000.
From today (Monday 1 October) anyone who lets a property occupied by five or more people – in at least two separate households – will need to be licensed.
Stafford Borough Council has liaised with local landlords to alert them of the changes to the legislation – which also brings in new conditions such as minimum sleeping room sizes, maximum number of occupants, and provision of refuse facilities.
The new legislation changes the definition of ‘House in Multiple Occupation’ (HMO) by removing the number of storeys from the criteria. It means two and single storey properties are now captured by the rules.
A licence will be granted if the landlord is a ‘fit and proper’ person and the house is suitable for multiple people to live in. The Borough Council can impose a penalty of up to £30,000 if someone doesn’t comply with the licensing requirements or to take them to court.
Councillor Jeremy Pert, Cabinet Member for Communities, said:
“Licensing of HMOs ensures that our housing standards team know about properties and can make sure they are safe for tenants, as well as demonstrating the appropriate management arrangements have been made.”
“We will continue to give advice and support to landlords regarding these changes. The most important thing is the health and wellbeing of our residents and we would rather work with landlords to ensure this rather than going down the route of handing out penalties for non-compliance.”
For further advice www.staffordbc.gov.uk/houses-in-multiple-occupation-hmo or contact email@example.com or 01785 619000.