Councils in North Northamptonshire will be taking action to tackle private landlords whose properties are not licensed, following recent changes in legislation to a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO), which came into effect on 1 October 2018.
The legislation now requires any privately rented property occupied by five or more people living as two or more households to be licensed under the mandatory HMO scheme.
Since the legislation came into force, councils in North Northamptonshire have been working with landlords to make sure that their properties are correctly licensed. Teams have aligned HMO standards and processes to make it easier for landlords to comply if they have properties across district boundaries.
Private Sector Housing Officers are now pursuing landlords and managers that fail to licence their properties. Landlords operating an illegal HMO could face prosecution and an unlimited fine or a penalty of up to £30,000. Tenants or the council can also apply to have up to 12 months rent repaid to them if their rented property should be licensed, but the landlord has not made an application.
Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Cllr Steven North, said: “Changes to the way we license HMO properties came into effect last year in order to provide further assurance and protection to private tenants.
“We have been working with our neighbouring councils to provide landlords with the information they need to ensure their properties meets the new legislation but will now take action to prosecute those that do not responsibly license their private lets.”
Tenants can check if their property is licenced by looking on the Public Register at: https://lipublicaccess.east-northamptonshire.gov.uk/online-licensing
To report an unlicensed property you can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the team on 01832 742102.