The Housing Act 2004 introduced the compulsory requirement for larger Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) to be licensed from the 6 April 2006. All properties comprising of three storeys or more, with five or more occupants, are subject to these mandatory licensing requirements. The process is complicated (and costly), but to obtain the licence the property/landlord must conform to certain criteria including:
- Fire precautions (eg fitting interlinked mains wired battery back-up smoke detectors in all habitable rooms, all internal doors to be self-closing fire doors)
- Standards for accommodation (eg kitchen space, bedroom size, numbers of bathrooms/toilets)
- Property management (eg regular visits, maintenance logs, PAT testing)
- Operated by a landlord who is deemed “fit and proper”
- For more details on the licensing scheme, see the Newcastle City Council website by clicking here.
64 Holly Avenue and 14 Tavistock Road fall into the category of properties that require mandatory licensing. Both properties have now been granted licences (two of the earliest granted by Newcastle City Council) and both have been physically inspected by the Council.
At the end of the site visit we were told by the inspector that the Council was considering an approved student housing list, where standards would be above and beyond those laid down for the mandatory licensing – and that our properties were already of a standard suitable. The council are working on the scheme but it has yet to be launched.