Thurrock Council is proposing to introduce additional licensing for private landlords renting rooms to tenants in specific parts of the borough where there are higher numbers of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in a bid to boost living conditions for renters, improve property management arrangements, encourage landlords to deal with anti-social behaviour by their tenants, and ultimately raise more money from landlords.
The new scheme would mean affected landlords having to comply with national health and safety standards and local criteria.
The existing nationwide mandatory licensing affects properties occupied by five or more people from two or more households, but this is set to be extended from 1 October.
Under the new plans, small shared properties of three to four people in certain areas of the borough would have to be deemed suitable for the number of occupants and the landlord would have to pass a ‘fit and proper’ person test before the council would grant them a five-year licence.
The areas affected by the new scheme would be Aveley and Uplands, Belhus, Chadwell St Mary, Grays Thurrock, Grays Riverside, Little Thurrock Blackshots, Ockendon, Stifford Clays, Tilbury Riverside and Thurrock Park, Tilbury St Chads, and West Thurrock and South Stifford.
Cllr Barry Johnson, portfolio holder for housing, commented: “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.”
The consultation is open until Monday 24 September – To find out more and have your say on the proposals, click here.
Several consultation events will take place at the Civic Offices, New Road, Grays, RM17 6SL on the following dates:
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