Today, a 10-week consultation has gotten underway on a new licensing scheme to improve the quality of some of York’s less well-managed privately rented homes.
Following approval by the Executive, City of York Council is starting a consultation on extending licensing to a further 2,000 smaller Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
Views are being sought from tenants, landlords, and partner organisations.
HMOs are shared homes that encompass a wide range of tenures, from houses and flat shares to student homes and bedsits.
The council says extending licensing arrangements for HMOs with three or four occupants would ensure a safer, better-managed, and more professionally run private-rented sector.
It says 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 new scheme would apply to Hull Road, Guildhall, Clifton, Fishergate, Heworth, Micklegate, Osbaldwick & Derwent, and Fulford & Heslington wards.
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 five 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.”
The findings from the consultation will inform a final decision on an extended licensing scheme later this year.
Image: Jamie Wheeler/Unsplash
Are you a social housing professional? Sign up for a FREE MEMBERSHIP to upload news stories, post job vacancies, and connect with colleagues on our secure social feed.