New licensing rules for Houses in Multiple Occupation will benefit tenants


Additional licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) in Worcester will be rolled out to all remaining wards, if councillors back the scheme.

When the City Council's Communities Committee meets next week, councillors will be asked to approve the change which will mean that HMO properties with fewer than five occupants will need to be licensed, as will converted buildings, in all wards of the city.

A House in Multiple Occupancy is defined as a property where three or more people in two or more households share a basic amenity such as a toilet, a bathroom or kitchen facilities. HMOs with occupancy of five or more people need to be licensed by the local authority under mandatory licensing before they can be let out to tenants.

Worcester City Council has also been operating an 'additional licensing' scheme in the city since September 2015. In 2020 this was amended to cover just the wards of Arboretum, Bedwardine, Cathedral and St Clements and St Johns, but city councillors are being asked to back a move to extend the additional licensing across the whole of the city.

The move comes after a motion was presented at Council in November. Following this a consultation exercise was carried out asking local residents, landlords and agencies for their views on the idea. Of those who responded to the consultation, 80% backed the implementation of the new additional licensing.

Chair of Worcester City Council's Communities Committee, Cllr Jabba Riaz, said: "The wellbeing of our residents is of the utmost importance to us. Since the implementation of the city's existing HMO scheme we have seen an improvement in the condition of homes in multiple occupation and we believe that all wards in the city will benefit from our additional licensing scheme." 

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