Bedford Borough Council Tackling Unlicensed HMOs

February 14, 2020 11:57 AM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Bedford Borough Council logoThe Council is tackling unlicensed shared houses - or 'Houses in Multiple Occupation' (HMOs) across Bedford Borough.

The Council is running a project targeting any remaining unlicensed HMOs, or shared houses, in Bedford Borough. The Council will seek to prosecute or issue Civil Penalty Notices of up to £30,000 per offence on non-compliant owners who have failed to either apply for a licence or have failed to be granted one due to not meeting the Council's minimum standards.

Bedford Borough Council has an Additional Licensing Scheme in place, which means that any property with three or more unrelated people living there who are sharing facilities qualifies as an HMO. This means they have to be licensed, and meet certain standards around safety.

The legal minimum for requiring a licence nationally is five or more unrelated people living in one property to have this licence. With the lower threshold, the local additional scheme captures more shared houses and helps to ensure that people are living in good quality housing.

Bedford Borough Council works to tackle rogue landlords and this includes those that fail to licence their HMOs in accordance with the legal requirements. This project will focus specific resources on ensuring all HMOs in the borough are licensed which will help raise standards and protect the individuals who live in these homes.

This project follows a successful bid to the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government by Bedford Borough Council, and is set to run until the end of March 2020.