Milton Keynes Council currently licences 273 Houses in Multiple Occupation. (HMOs) These are properties with three or more floors and 5 or more people.
The Council will be extending the licensing scheme to many of the 253 known HMOs that currently sit outside the current licensing scheme. They are generally of less than three storeys.
The Council will also adopt minimum sizes for rooms used for sleeping. The new room sixes will apply to both old and new licensed HMOs.
Cabinet member for Housing Cllr Nigel Long said, “Labour led MK Council are committed to improving housing conditions across the city, none more so than in HMOs, which can be badly maintained, yet home to hundreds of people.
Our extension of the HMO licensing scheme arises from a change in the law nationally. We welcome that change, but it has been a long time coming. We will respond by extending licensing and introducing minimum sleeping arrangements that require bedrooms to be of a minimum size.
Within HMOs there has not previously been a sleeping room size requirement. This was an omission leading to poor quality sleeping areas within HMOs. We will put that right.
Cllr Long added, “We support the introduction of a minimum bedroom size linked to the age of the person and the number of people. Whilst we are not great fans of HMOs, we recognise that as long as they exist we must ensure they meet standards such as fire safety, be properly maintained and not over crowded. The introduction of a set bedroom size will help improve conditions further.”
Cllr Long concluded, “As a Council we want to see all housing being of good quality and truly affordable. We are bringing more HMOs in to the Councils licencing scheme and improving standards as a result. It reflects our commitment to good housing for every household in MK.”