Proposals to introduce an additional licensing scheme for Houses In Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in and around the high street and central areas of West Bromwich have been given the go-ahead.
The decision to approve the plans follows an extensive 12-week consultation which took place from January to April last year, seeking views on proposals to introduce the scheme.
Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council hopes that the scheme will see landlords of any HMO in the area forced to apply for a licence from the council – unless they already hold a mandatory HMO licence.
Under the planned new scheme, landlords of all HMOs regardless of how many people are living there, would need to apply for a licence at a cost of £850 for a five-year period.
The scheme will be introduced in April 2022, with a three-month grace period for landlords, and the council starting enforcement for unlicensed premises from July 2022.
Cllr Zahoor Ahmed, Sandwell’s cabinet member for housing, commented: “We want to improve housing conditions and make sure that landlords are providing good quality and safe HMOs, so that tenants are protected.
“While we know that many already do this, there are still too many properties that are poorly managed and are in unsafe and unsatisfactory conditions.
“A new approach is needed and we believe that the Additional Licensing Scheme will improve the condition of properties, support good landlords and remove rogue landlords from operating.”