LANDLORDS and letting agents in the district are being warned of major changes to housing legislation which come into force later this year.
Properties where five or more people share facilities will need to be licensed from October 1.
Owners of so-called houses in multiple occupation (HMO’s) could face prosecution if their property does not conform to the new regulation.
Previously a licence was only required for properties of three storeys or more, but a licence will now be required even for single storey properties.
Stratford District Council housing spokesman Coun Peter Richards said: “Everyone deserves a decent and safe place to live. Public safety is paramount – everyone has the right to be safe in their own home.
“This is an important move by the government, and the district council is keen to enforce this legislation in order to ensure that tenants in shared accommodation have a safe and proper standard of housing.”
Landlords can apply for a licence now.
And all properties let on a new contract now also have to meet a minimum energy standard (Energy Performance Certificate – EPC) rating of ‘E’ or above. By 2020 all existing rented properties will have to meet the standard.
Landlords are being urged to contact the district council for advice on the implications of the regulations.
Tenants can raise any concerns with the private sector housing team at the council by emailing email@example.com or calling 01789 260848.