Saturday, May 28, 2022

Landlord licence scheme extended to more areas of Bristol


It’s the first big expansion of the landlord licensing scheme since 12 more wards in the city centre were added to the initial scheme before the pandemic

A scheme which requires landlords of rented homes in Bristol to be licensed has been extended to three new and large areas of the city.

People living in rented properties in the Horfield, Bedminster and Brislington West wards of the city now have extra protection, council housing chiefs have said, because their landlords will have to get licences and be subject to regular checks.

It’s the first big expansion of the landlord licensing scheme since 12 more wards in the city centre were added to the initial scheme before the pandemic.

In Horfield, almost a third of all homes are privately rented. Landlords in Horfield who rent out houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) will have to get a licence from the council to continue to do so.

And in Bedminster and Brislington West, the landlord licensing scheme goes further, and includes all private rented properties – not just HMOs – that are occupied by one or two tenants, or a family, but doesn’t include homes where a landlord or landlady lives there and rents out fewer than three rooms to lodgers.

The city council have worked out that in Brislington West and Bedminster, the new licensing schemes will cover 2,222 rented homes that aren’t HMOs, and in all three areas, the total number of HMOs that now require the landlord to be licensed is 686, to add to the 479 HMOs that already have to be licensed.

The landlord licensing scheme was first introduced nine years ago in a small area of Stapleton Road in Easton, and it meant council housing officers had increased powers to inspect and sanction rogue landlords.

It gradually grew in geographical area, with whole council wards in east Bristol and the inner city being added, and it grew in the scope of the type of rented housing it covered.

Bristol’s housing chief, Cllr Tom Renhard, said the licensing scheme was about improving the conditions of rented homes and flats in the city.

Although most private landlords provide a good standard of accommodation and service to their tenants, many do not, he said. Some houses are in poor condition and poorly managed, with a significant number let to vulnerable tenants who are unaware of their rights or are not aware of the minimum standards of accommodation their landlord should provide.

He said: We are clear that the small minority of rogue landlords and property agents who knowingly flout their legal obligations, rent out accommodation which is substandard and harass their tenants, should be prevented from managing or letting housing, he added.


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