Council to tighten up on landlords and HMOs

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New measures to improve conditions and keeper tighter regulations over houses of multiple occupancy (HMOs) have been approved by senior councillors.

Wakefield Council’s cabinet agreed during a meeting on Tuesday to provide greater protection for those in rented accommodation.

In 2001 it was estimated that five per cent of housing in the Wakefield district were privately rented, in 2016 this rose to 15 per cent.

While the majority of landlords provide well-maintained homes, the cabinet felt some homes are unsafe and badly managed, which means that more help is needed to support those tenants living in bad conditions.

Coun Denise Jeffery, cabinet member for economic growth and regeneration said: “We have to work with some very serious problems in our wards. We have a lot of good landlords but some are abusing the system and we need to tackle the situation.”

“We need to check the HMOs on a much more regular basis, we have to work in the community and deal with the issues that are coming along.

“Small terraced houses in our area are all being turned into HMOs and it’s causing real issues.”

Measures approved will strengthen the council’s enforcement powers to improve conditions in the private sector.

This will also help to tackle health and social inequalities which affect people who are living in poorly-maintained accommodation.

Council leader, Coun Peter Box, said he recognised the need for council support for tenants.

By improving conditions and where necessary, taking enforcement action against rogue landlords, the council will support tenants to ensure they are treated fairly.