The current additional licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the area expires in November this year and Cabinet has agreed for statutory consultation to be carried out with interested parties on the re-declaration of the scheme for a further five years.
The Council is able to designate areas for additional licensing where there is a significant portion of HMOs being managed ineffectively and that poor management is affecting the occupier or the public.
The scheme was first introduced in Plasnewydd in 2014 with the aim of improving private rented property standards as well as wider community issues such as:
· waste, anti-social behaviour
· energy efficiency
· property security.
Since then, there have been significant benefits in the area for tenants, responsible landlords and residents by ensuring good quality of housing and issues that contribute to quality of life are addressed.
However, while positive progress has been made, there is still a considerable way to go to secure all of the necessary improvements and a further designation for five years will be required if the scheme is to deliver the required improvements.
Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: “Additional licensing schemes are a valuable way for the Council to protect private sector tenants from poor quality housing, hazards and rogue landlords.
“Our housing enforcement team has seen an increase in the number of dangerous property conversions being undertaken by landlords, often with disregard for planning and building regulation requirements. Other properties are in a serious state of disrepair and a potential danger to the people living there and possibly, the public.
“Re-declaring Plasnewydd as an area for additional licensing will allow the Council go some way to addressing these issues and to target areas of high HMO concentration to help significantly improving the quality of private rented properties, building on the success of the past five years.”
The report considered by Cabinet today also provides an update on changes in England currently being considered in Wales, which would have significant positive impacts on the HMO licensing function in Cardiff if replicated in Wales. Cabinet agreed to authorise officers to inform Welsh Government of Cardiff’s support for the proposed extension of mandatory licensing but to also include poorly converted buildings.