A new licensing scheme is being considered that could further improve the standard and management of privately rented homes in York, which currently has around 3,000 homes in multiple occupation (HMOs).
Since 2018, around 2,000 HMOs with five or more occupants from more than one household have been required to get a licence.
To be licensed, the homes must meet minimum national standards of accommodation and management.
The new proposals could see discretionary powers used to extend the same mandatory national conditions to license smaller HMOs that are occupied by three or four individuals from two or more households.
The proposal aims to benefit landlords and tenants alike through raising standards of accommodation such as energy rating, fire safety, and room sizes.
Such improvements plus training in property management should also improve the quality and value of the property, and reduce tenant turnover, which will benefit landlords.
A cross-party scrutiny committee of councillors will be asked to consider the proposal and its supporting evidence and make recommendations to the council’s Executive.
If the proposal to seek to extend mandatory licensing is approved by the Executive, it will then be subject to a legally required 10-week consultation prior to a further report.
Cllr Denise Craghill, executive member for Housing and Safer Communities, said: “Providing good quality housing for York residents is a key priority for the council.
“The private rented sector is a significant part of that provision and HMOs are an important aspect of it.
“Of those 3,000 HMOs, only one-third is currently regulated through mandatory licencing. The evidence demonstrates that licensing has significantly improved the standards in these properties.
“The vast majority of landlords in York are reputable and want to offer good quality homes which are safe.
“This proposal seeks to provide a level playing field ensuring that all HMOs are well maintained and managed, helping to keep tenants safe, and do not negatively impact on neighbouring properties.”
The Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods Scrutiny Committee will consider the report on Tuesday 16 February 2021 at 5:30pm.
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