HMO Consultation: July – October 2012

Local residents, groups, businesses and landlords are being asked to have their say on a proposed scheme to improve housing conditions and the standards of management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in Bournemouth.

The Council is considering the options available to help improve the living conditions for tenants living in HMOs in Winton East, Wallisdown and Queen’s Park. These areas have been identified as having a large number of HMOs where more work needs to be done to improve housing conditions and help deal with noisy neighbours.

Currently, Bournemouth operates a mandatory licensing scheme for larger HMOs (homes that are three or more storeys and occupied by five or more people forming two or more separate households). It is now considering the introduction of an ‘Additional Licensing’ scheme as one of the options for the area. This will mean that all other HMOs in the three wards identified will have to be licensed.

Consultation will start next week and the public are urged to share their views and give feedback on the proposed options.

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The benefits of an Additional Licensing scheme include:

* Any landlord operating an HMO in the area would have to apply for a licence to operate, enabling the Council to ensure standards are maintained

* It will improve the standard of HMOs in the area, including health and safety of the occupants, provision of amenities and external appearance of the property

* It enables the Council to specify the maximum number of persons who can occupy a property

* The Council can attach conditions relating to the management, including requiring the landlord to take steps to prevent or reduce anti-social behaviour of occupiers and people visiting the property

* Provides contact details for all HMO landlords that will enable a better working relationship between the Council and landlords in dealing with, and resolving issues.

Public consultation has been extended to take place from Monday 2 July until Sunday, 7 October 2012.

More information and a questionnaire can be found at: www.bournemouth.gov.uk/wintonhmoconsultation.

A hard copy of the questionnaire is also available from all Bournemouth libraries or Council reception points, or call 01202 451430 to request a copy.