Salford City Council is to introduce landlord licensing for shared homes where three or four tenants live, known as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

The scheme, which covers the whole of Salford, will come into force on Monday 19 July and will last for 5 years.

Landlords will pay a one-off fee for the licence and will have three months to register, unless they already hold a licence for a five bedded or larger HMOs.

The licence will determine the maximum number of occupants to make sure tenants are not living in cramped and overcrowded properties.

Salford City Council was the first local authority to introduce landlord licensing in Seedley and Langworthy in 2007 to drive up standards in private rented property.

The council estimates more than 27,000 homes are privately rented in the city.

Conversions to HMOs of all sizes in selective licensing areas have risen in the last five years, by 460 percent in Eccles, 410 percent in Langworthy, Weaste and Seedley and 196 percent in Broughton.

Over the last year 90 percent of three and four bed HMOs inspected fell below the required standard.

This is despite the council providing clear information about acceptable standards and offering an HMO advice service.

Strategic director for place, Peter Openshaw said: “Private sector rented properties now account for 23% of Salford’s private housing stock, up from 11.2% in 2008 so the homes they provide must be safe, warm and well-run.

“As with previous licensing schemes we want to work with landlords to ensure high quality rented properties in Salford but will not hesitate to take firm action against those who leave tenants in unsafe or poor conditions.”

Featured image: A street in Weaste. Photo credit: Google Earth. 

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