Local MP Steve McCabe is encouraging his constituents to go online and have their say on proposals to introduce additional licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
Birmingham City Council are currently consulting with local residents, landlords, agents, businesses and other stakeholders over the proposal to introduce additional licensing for HMOs under Part 2 (s56) of the Housing Act 2004 in the Selly Oak Ward.
The Council already operates a mandatory licensing scheme for large HMOs, but there are concerns about the level of complaints and demands on services resulting from the growing number of HMOs across Selly Oak. The key issues impacting on local residents and services as a result of HMOs are:
· Rubbish and waste management, in particular at the end of university terms
· Unregulated development, such as the building of extensions to increase occupancy without planning permission
· “Beds in Sheds”, the use of potentially unsuitable buildings for accommodation purposes
· Building and construction works impacting on the highway and neighbouringproperties
· Fire protection and low quality repair standards, causing problems during the tenancy
· Lack of insulation and poor heating, leading to dampness and mould in the property
New proposals for tougher licencing would mean that as a condition of any HMO licence the landlords or managing agent would be required to:
· Ensure rubbish and household items are properly stored and removed from site at the end of a tenancy at the end or any university term time.
· Prevent the use of unsuitable outbuildings or extensions for living accommodation.
· To properly supervise the use of skips and storage of building materials on the Highway including those used by contractors
· To ensure fire precautions are up to standard and properly maintained and repairs are responded to in a timely manner and reasonable repairs are carried out to decent standards
· To ensure properties are properly insulated and capable of being heated to a reasonable level to prevent risk to health of tenants
Steve has previously criticised the lack of enforcement action taken by the Council against developers who continue to breach planning law and welcomes new proposals to introduce additional licensing.
Last year Steve McCabe introduced his Protection of Family Homes (enforcement and permitted development) 10 Minute Rule Bill in an effort to compel local councils to take tougher enforcement action against those flouting planning laws. Steve is now pursuing this with a Private Members Bill which will have its Second Reading in October.
Steve McCabe MP said:
“Residents in Selly Oak are only too used to dealing with rubbish in the streets, obstructions, rows and rows of skips and illegal extensions. I have been calling on the council to take tougher action against rogue landlords for sometime now and I welcome any proposals which would see stricter licensing for landlords of HMOs.
“I would urge everyone living in Selly Oak ward go on line and have their say on these proposals. It’s really important that the consultation hears from as many local residents as possible.”
The online consultation will run until to 31 Oct 2016 with results expected on 16 December 2016 and further feedback expected 31 January 2017.
To take part in the consultation and have your say go to https://www.birminghambeheard.org.uk/place/additional-hmo-licensing-in-selly-oak-ward