The first approach would involve bringing in Selective Licensing, which would require all privately-rented properties to be licensed by the city council.
A second option proposes introducing citywide Additional Licensing, which would require all small HMOs occupied by three or four unrelated tenants who share facilities such as kitchens and bathrooms, to be licensed. It would operate in all areas of the city, except where Selective Licensing may be in place if both approaches are used at the same time.
A third option would bring in Additional Licensing only within specified parts of the city.
Each of the proposed licensing measures would place conditions on the landlord to ensure issues such as gas and electrical safety, installation of smoke, fire and carbon monoxide alarms are adequately dealt with, along with matters such a repairs and maintenance, waste disposal, tenancy management and addressing antisocial behaviour.
The consultation on the three approaches has now been launched and will run until February 22, 2022.
Leicester assistant city mayor for housing, Councillor Elly Cutkelvin, says: “Access to decent affordable housing is essential to support good health and wellbeing and a good quality of life.
“Ongoing pressures within the housing market mean that for many, including a rising proportion of families, the only chance of a decent home is a private rented tenancy.
“We are committed to improving the quality of private-sector rented housing in the city, by ensuring both landlords and tenants are supported and engaged with us.
“Our responsibility is to protect the most vulnerable people by ensuring their housing, and their landlords, meet a higher standard in terms of safety, maintenance and the effect on the wider community.
“Additional Licensing would include smaller HMOs of three or more people, rather than five or more, and ensuring they are properly licensed.
“Selective Licensing would give us the powers to ensure all properties in those targeted areas are licensed.
“While licensing helps us improve safety standards in the first instance, with a robust enforcement action plan it can also benefit the wider community.”
Last month the council announced it was launching a consultation on plans to expand legislation known as an Article 4 Direction, which means planning permission would be needed to convert any house into a HMO in certain areas of the city.
An Article 4 Direction already exists covering parts of the city.
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