01:04PM, Wednesday 05 June 2019
Landlords of all houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) will now need a licence to rent out rooms in Slough.
The council has introduced new licensing rules with the aim of improving the standards of rental homes and bedsits across the borough.
Each property with multiple individually let rooms will need to be registered by its landlord from July 1.
Landlords with any rental property within the designated area covering parts of the Chalvey and Central wards will also be required to apply for and obtain a new landlord licence.
Cllr Mohammed Nazir (Lab, Baylis and Stoke), cabinet member for housing and community safety, said: “A lot of the people who rent in Slough are vulnerable, families with young children, or legal workers who have no family or friends to rely on and basically put up with poor conditions as they have nowhere to turn.
“With a licensing system where landlords are compelled to sign up, there will be accountability and people who need help can get it.”
Slough has more than the national average of rental accommodation in the borough, which currently stands at 33 per cent.
In Chalvey and Central wards 50 per cent of all homes are privately-rented accommodation.
To obtain a licence, landlords will need to provide evidence their property is safe through valid utility certificates.
“People’s lives are hugely affected by the property they live in whether that be their mental or physical health, and we need to try and redress that.
“With licences the expectation is that better properties will attract better tenants.
“This will then potentially have the nock-on affect of improving the quality of the property and then the area.”
If landlords apply for an Additional Licence, required for all houses in multiple occupation properties, before October 1 they will have to pay £450 for an HMO of up to six rooms.
Licence applications made before October 1`under the Selective Licensing Scheme, for all rental properties within a designated area, will be subject to a £200 charge.
From October 1, those landlords who have not obtained a licence will be prosecuted and unlicensed landlords could face a fine of up to £30,000.
Visit www.slough.gov.uk/business/licences-and-permits/property-licensing.aspx for details.
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