A new licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) has been implemented in Royal Greenwich from January 1, 2024. This initiative, focusing on smaller HMOs, mandates landlords to obtain additional licensing for properties where three or more residents from different households share facilities such as a kitchen, bathroom, or toilet. The move aims to ensure the safety and well-maintenance of homes for private tenants in the borough.
Council's Commitment to Tenant Well-being
Royal Greenwich's cabinet member for community safety and enforcement, Coun Ann-Marie Cousins, emphasises the significance of every resident's right to a secure and well-maintained home.
She sees the additional Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) licensing scheme as a positive step, aligning with the council's commitment to enhancing the lives and homes of private tenants. The scheme operates in conjunction with the existing mandatory HMO licensing scheme, forming a comprehensive approach to regulate rented and multiple-occupation homes.
Regulating Homes for Safety and Quality
The council asserts that these licensing schemes enable effective regulation of rented and multiple occupation homes, ensuring their safety, proper management, and protection of tenants' rights.
To reinforce this, the council urges landlords to undergo training and designate a responsible person for each property. Rigorous property checks will be conducted to assess eligibility for a license, accompanied by clear license conditions outlining good practices.
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Enforcement and Penalties
Landlords operating an HMO without a required license are deemed to commit a criminal offence, risking an unlimited fine if found intentionally evading licensing. This initiative aligns with the council's broader strategy to uphold housing standards and clamp down on rogue landlords.
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Additionally, the council runs a selective licensing scheme in central Woolwich and Plumstead, covering houses or flats rented to single individuals, couples, or families. This multifaceted approach aims to create a safer and well-regulated rental landscape in Royal Greenwich.
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