26 August 2010>
A recent report highlights the importance of ensuring that landlords have the correct licence in place to operate a House in Multiple Occupation. (HMO)
A Hammersmith and Fulham landlord has been ordered by the Residential Property Tribunal to pay back 12 months of housing benefit payments to the London Borough Council, amounting to £37,400 for operating an unlicenced House in Multiple Occupation (HMO). The three-storey building contained nine bedsits and was described as 'squalid' by the investigating officers of the council who also found a series of hazards in the bedsits and communal areas.
This report highlights the importance of ensuring that landlords have the correct licence in place to operate a HMO, and applies to buildings with 3 or more storeys and have 5 or more tenants in occupation. The HMO licence requirement was introduced by the Housing Act 2004 with the main aim of ensuring that larger bedsit type premises are safe in the event of a fire, however conditions within both the habitable and communal parts of the building are just as important in terms of maintenance and repair.
There are 9 licenced HMOs in the Caerphilly County Borough area that are routinely inspected by Environmental Health Officers. If you are a landlord and are unsure if you should have a licence for your property, contact the Private Sector Housing team on 01495 235216 for advice.
The full report can be accessed vis the Portsmouth City Council Landlord Accreditation webpage.
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