Cllr Peter Richards, health, wellbeing and housing portfolio holder at Stratford District Council, handing over an application pack for an HMO license to local landlord, Peter Pettifor. (Submitted photo)
A WARNING has been issued to landlords and letting agents about major changes to housing legislation that come into force later this year.
From 1st October, owners of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) will be committing an offence and could face prosecution if their property does not conform to the new regulation.
An HMO is where three or more unrelated people share the accommodation.
But properties where five or more people share facilities will need to be licensed.
Until this change, a licence was only required for properties that were three storeys or more, but from October a licence will be required even for single storey properties.
Cllr Peter Richards, Stratford District Council’s health, wellbeing and housing portfolio holder, said: “This is an important move by the government, and the district council is keen to enforce this legislation in order to ensure that tenants in shared accommodation have a safe and proper standard of housing.
“Public safety is paramount, everyone has the right to be safe in their own home. At the beginning of April this year, another change affected rented properties.
All properties that are let on a new contract have to meet a minimum Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of ‘E’ or above.
By 2020 all existing rented properties will have to meet this standard.
Landlords are being urged to contact the council for advice on the implications of these regulations.
Tenants can raise any concerns they may have with the private sector housing team at the district council on 01789 260848 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org