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New rules mean more city landlords must sign up to licensing scheme

PUBLISHED: 06:30 29 September 2018 | UPDATED: 09:41 29 September 2018

More landlords who own houses of multiple occupation in Norwich will have to get a licence. Photo: Simon Finlay.

More landlords who own houses of multiple occupation in Norwich will have to get a licence. Photo: Simon Finlay.

Archant © 2005

More landlords in Norwich will have to sign up to a tough new licensing scheme from Monday, with the city council getting more powers to check bedrooms are big enough.

Council bosses say it will help to tackled the “small minority” of landlords renting out overcrowded or substandard homes in the city.

Changes to mandatory licensing for landlords who provide what are known as houses in multiple occupation have come into force - and bosses are City Hall are urging them to make sure they have applied.

Before today, only landlords who let properties to five or more tenants, from two or more different households, where the building was three or more stories had to get a licence.

But now any property let to five or more tenants from two or more households will be bound by the licensing rules, no matter how many floors the building has.

A spokeswoman for Norwich City Council said it meant the authority would be able to take further action to crack down on the “small minority” of landlords renting out sub-standard and overcrowded homes.

The licensing powers also mean that council officers will be able to check that bedrooms in such houses of multiple occupation are of a minimum size.

And they will be able to ensure that the homes comply with household waste and recycling procedures - such as having to provide a certain number of bins for each property.

Affecting 177,000 landlords across the UK, those who do not meet the requirements could face fines of £30,000 or prosecution.

The city council says landlords who already have a licence for houses of multiple occupation will not need to re-apply until their current licence has expired.

If you’re a landlord located within Norwich City Council’s boundary, and you believe the new regulations apply to you, visit www.norwich.gov.uk/HMO for more information and guidance.

If your property is located outside of the city council’s boundary and needs to be licensed, you will need to get in touch with the district council responsible for that area.

When the changes were announced, housing minister Heather Wheeler said: “The new guidance for landlords will further protect private renters against bad and overcrowded conditions and poor management practice.”

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