A public consultation outlining plans for schemes to regulate Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) and selected private sector properties in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole has been extended until 20 July due to the coronavirus lockdown period.
The Discretionary Licensing proposals include an Additional Licensing Scheme that would look at regulating specific non-mandatory HMOs across the BCP council area, and a Selective Licensing scheme regulating all private sector properties within a specifically defined geographical area.
If introduced, discretionary licensing would provide continuous regulation and an inspection regime to ensure housing standards are maintained, and properties are suitably managed to prevent issues such as anti-social behaviour, crime and deprivation.
Councillor Kieron Wilson, portfolio holder for housing, said: “We have a significant amount of private sector housing across the area and it is really important that we can ensure that the rented sector is well managed and tenants are living in safe housing conditions. Due to the coronavirus outbreak and subsequent lockdown period we felt it was crucial we extended the initial 12-week consultation that began In January, for a further four weeks to allow people enough opportunity to give their feedback on the proposed schemes.”
The consultation aims to engage with landlords, residents, businesses and other stakeholders and the remaining drop in events, cancelled due to Covid-19, will be run virtually. Dates and joining instructions will soon be available on the website, alongside further information about the HMOs schemes.
Following the consultation, a detailed analysis of results, recommendations will go back to Cabinet later in the year.