Sandwell Council crackdown on rogue landlords running dodgy HMOs

Council chiefs have launched a crackdown on rogue landlords who run dodgy HMOs that are making neighbours' lives a misery.

A new scheme will see landlords who rent 'houses of multiple occupancy', where three or four people live and share amenities, required to register for a new licence.

Sandwell Council says the scheme will improve housing conditions and ensure landlords are providing "good quality, safe HMOs".

It will cover part of West Bromwich town centre including the High Street, where council chiefs say they have evidence of a number of HMOs that have "not been operated to the required standard".

Councillor Zahoor Ahmed, cabinet member for housing, said "We want to improve housing conditions and make sure that landlords are providing good quality, safe HMOs.

"While we know that many landlords already do this, there are still too many properties that are poorly managed and are in unsafe and unsatisfactory conditions.

"We will work with landlords to see that their property is up to standard and ensure it is safe to live in for tenants, and that all the licensing conditions and management regulations are followed."

The scheme follows a 12-week consultation in 2020 and was signed off by council chiefs last December. It comes into force on July 1.

Landlords who come under the new scheme are being encouraged to apply for licenses and find out more on the council's website.

In October 2018 the Government introduced a new mandatory licensing policy for HMOs occupied by five or more people who are not members of the same family.

Since then the number of HMOs in the West Midlands has increased by six per cent to an estimated 37,646, according to figures from property experts Octane Capital.

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