The Government has given local authorities strong powers to drive up standards in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). These include mandatory, additional and selective licensing as well as civil penalties of up to £30,000, rent repayment orders and banning orders for those landlords who refuse to comply with the law.
We have also recently extended mandatory licensing of HMOs. Mandatory licensing is recognised to have improved safety and property standards in HMOs, the extension will bring an additional 170,000 properties within scope of mandatory licensing.
In addition, the Government is currently refreshing guidance for local authorities in order to help them better use these powers. Along with providing training sessions across the county, the updated guidance will ensure local authorities are aware of the extent of powers they have and how they can use them to maximum effect in all private rented sector properties, including HMOs.