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Royal Borough approves licensing of all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

To ensure that more tenants have well managed, safe and properly maintained homes, the Royal Borough’s Cabinet on Wednesday night (19 April) approved an extension of the Council’s licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

HMO licensing helps to ensure that this type of housing meets legal health and safety standards, is well run and provides enough essential bathroom and kitchen facilities for tenants.

The Royal Borough is already legally obliged to license the largest HMOs that provide accommodation over three storeys or more to at least five residents.

The policy approved on Wednesday night means that all HMOs in the borough will be required to have a license from 1 October 2017. An extensive public consultation was carried out and approximately 80% of residents and tenants who responded were in favour of the changes.

The extended scheme will help the Royal Borough drive up accommodation standards and improve the management of HMOs.

HMO tenants living in a licensed HMO can rent with confidence knowing that their landlord has passed a “fit and proper person” check and that the property will be inspected by the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Licensing also benefits landlords who can advertise a certified property to estate agents and prospective tenants showing that their property is maintained in a responsible manner and meets legal standards.

Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment Councillor Jackie Smith said:

“This extension of licensing Houses in Multiple Occupation delivers on so many fronts – it will help us root out rogue landlords renting out sub-standard and often unsafe accommodation to their tenants. It will aid our targeting of over-crowded HMOs and the waste challenges that come with them such as overflowing bins and fly-tipping. 

“This licensing extension also strengthens our resolve in challenging the minority of landlords imposing unacceptable tenancy agreements and conditions on renters often leading to the exploitation of