Recommendations for future of HMOs put to council chiefs - The Leamington Observer

Recommendations for future of HMOs put to council chiefs

Leamington Editorial 25th May, 2017 Updated: 26th May, 2017   0

PROPOSALS to tackle problems with shared and student housing in the district are set to be considered by council chiefs.

A raft of recommendations have been drawn up by a Task & Finish group in a bid to deal with on-going problems associated with so-called Houses in Multiple Occupation – particularly noise and rubbish-related issues. The recommendations also aim to ensure landlords are held to account.

The recommendations follow months of evidence gathering from residents living in areas with a large number of HMOs, as well as speaking to landlords and students.

HMOs have been the subject of many complaints over the past few years, particularly in south Leamington, which is also the term time home to many students from the University of Warwick.

Warwick District Council executive will consider the recommendations on Thursday (June 1).

Recommendations include:

* Developing a plan for improved waste and recycling collection at end-of-term university times

* Ensuring noise complaints made at the time of incidents and are dealt with promptly

* Making the anti-social behaviour complaint process easier

* Monitoring growth of HMOs across the district

* Developing more purposely built student accommodation (PBSA) instead of converting existing properties into HMOs

* Asking PBSAs to include on-site management

* Providing adequate parking for all new HMOs

The recommendations also call for landlord regulations to be evaluated, including:

* Updating licenses to ensure landlords complete repairs within a set time

* Including rules and penalties in tenancy agreements relating to waste and conduct

* Introducing shorter license cycles and higher license costs for landlords of concern

* Imposing formal sanctions on landlords who do not take appropriate action

* Reviewing the council’s ‘fit and proper’ test for licensed HMO landlords

Speaking to the Observer, Task & Finish group member Cllr Kristie Naimo said: “This report has involved a lot of time and research which has been a cross-party effort. We are all hopeful that the executive will take on board our recommendations and implement them sooner rather than later.

“It’s important to give our residents hope that this administration is genuinely listening and willing to take action based on good practice elsewhere.”

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