More protection for Thurrock’s tenants

Barry J

TENANTS renting rooms from private landlords in certain parts of Thurrock will soon be protected from poor living conditions and unsatisfactory management standards under a new scheme.

Thurrock Council’s Cabinet has approved plans to introduce additional licensing to specific parts of the borough where there are higher numbers of private landlords renting small shared houses and flats to three or four tenants from more than one household, known as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

Under the new regulations, landlords will have to comply with national health and safety standards and local criteria before a five-year licence is granted. This will further complement UK-wide mandatory licensing and assist the Council in improving tenancy relations and preventing illegal evictions.

The introduction of the licence follows an 11-week public consultation launched in July last year, which asked landlords, letting agents, tenants, residents and businesses for their views on the proposals.

Figures revealed that 73 per cent of respondents strongly supported the introduction of the scheme; 83 per cent felt it would help poor performing HMO landlords raise their standards and 82 per cent believed it would improve tenants’ health and safety.

Cllr Barry Johnson, portfolio holder for Housing, said: “We want everyone in the borough to experience good quality living conditions. The introduction of the new additional licensing regulations for shared houses and flats will ensure that homes which may fall under the radar elsewhere are kept safe and well managed.

“It is important to note that the majority of landlords do act responsibly, but there are a small minority who fail to provide good quality living conditions and protect both their tenants and those living near shared homes from anti-social behaviour. This new scheme will benefit these residents, as well as the wider community.”

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