Action to improve safety of rented homes in Worcester
Privately rented self-contained flats in converted houses in Worcester are set to be checked to ensure they meet safety standards, including adequate heating and fire safety measures.
Housing officers from Worcester City Council are working in five areas of the city to find privately rented homes that have been split into separate flats – know as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) – and check that they are complying with building regulations.
At the same time, they will also be alerting landlords who have properties in other parts of Worcester that they may need to apply for a new HMO licence from 6 September this year.
Lloyd Griffiths, Corporate Director for Operations, Homes and Communities, said: "This is all about the safety of tenants who live in rented properties in Worcester. Most landlords do a good job, but we know there will be some properties that have poor fire safety measures, inadequate heating, dangerous electrics or other issues.
"We want everyone who lives in our city to enjoy safe accommodation, and we are aiming to work with landlords to help them bring their properties up to the required standards."
Housing officers will be visiting properties in five of the city's wards, Arboretum, Cathedral, Bedwardine, St Johns and St Clements – where smaller HMOs require an HMO licence.
Larger HMOs with five or more occupants already need a licence across Worcester, but licences for smaller ones are currently only required in certain parts of the city.
This will change on 6 September, when the "additional licensing" scheme will be extended to the whole city, in order to help ensure consistent high standards for tenants who rent homes.
Landlords who do not already have a licence for an HMO are being encouraged to sign up in advance.