The borough of Thurrock appears to be the next area to take on board new changes to houses in multiple occupation (HMO) licensing.
With the aim to improve the living conditions of those renting, the council plan to introduce additional licensing for private landlords with HMOs in certain areas within the borough. The idea is that this will also bring about improvements to property management arrangements and encourage landlords to deal with the behaviour of anti-social tenants.
As it currently stands, landlords must have a mandatory licence for properties occupied by five or more people from two or more households, who share a toilet, bathroom or kitchen, and the property is at least three storeys high. This is to be extended from 1st October, with the number of storeys no longer being taken into account.
Thurrock Council’s new plans will ensure that small shared houses and flat of three or four tenants are suitable for the number of occupants. Landlords will also have to pass a ‘fit and proper’ person test, in order to gain a five-year licence from the council.
Councillor Barry Johnson, portfolio holder for housing, said: “The majority of landlords act responsibly, but sadly there are those who fail to provide acceptable living conditions and don’t have adequate protection for their tenants or neighbouring homes in place. This is unacceptable and can lead to problems for both their tenants and the wider community.
“We believe everyone should have a good quality place to live and tightening the regulations around more shared houses and flats would enable us to ensure homes are safe and well managed.
“It is important to emphasise that no final decision has been made and I would encourage landlords, tenants and other residents to have their say on the proposals.”
This Additional Licensing Scheme will cover these areas of Thurrock:
- Grays Thurrock
- Grays Riverside
- Little Thurrock Blackshots
- Stifford Clays
- West Thurrock & South Stifford
- Aveley & Uplands
- Tilbury Riverside & Thurrock Park
- Tilbury St Chads
- Chadwell St Mary
A consultation has begun, asking the views of the people in relation to these plans. It started on 9th July, and will be open until 24th September. Consultation events will also be taking place between these dates, at the Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, RM17 6SL. They will occur on the following days:
- Tuesday 17 July, from 6pm to 8pm
- Monday 30 July, from 2pm to 4pm
- Thursday 16 August, from 6pm to 8pm
- Friday 31 August, from 11am to 1pm
- Monday 10 September, from 2pm to 4pm
You can have your say by visiting thurrock.gov.uk.