Councillors welcome reform on multiple occupancy housing

Southport Councillors Pat Keith and Lynne Thompson, campaigners for housing tenancy reform, have welcomed a government document about a proposed increase in licensing for houses of multiple occupations.

Following a wide ranging consultation the government are now considering extending mandatory licensing and Cambridge Ward representative Councillor Keith said: “ We are particularly concerned about some aspects of HMOs (houses of multiple occupation) and we think it is timely that the government finally seems to be recognising the problem.

“Their report concludes that while the majority of landlords do a good job of managing their properties this is not the case in all of them and because of increased demand placed on the sector there is a minority of unscrupulous landlords who feel the rewards of poorly managing their HMOs outweigh the risks.

“ This is something we have been pointing out and, as the report says, poor behaviour can include: housing illegal migrants, failure to meet the required health and safety standards, over-crowding, and ineffective management of tenant behaviour.

“Such issues can lead to negative harmful impacts on a local community either through environmental anti-social behaviour from excessive waste or noise and many tenants can be vulnerable and open to exploitation by rogue landlords.”

Councillor Keith’s Lib Dem colleague, Ainsdale Councillor Lynne Thompson, greeted the report by saying: “ Many cases that come across my desk stem from poor housing and HMOs and, clearly, government action on extending licensing is overdue”.


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