A Council run-pilot project on Monks Road and Carmelite Road has had success in helping to tackle unlicensed Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), and residents’ concerns about levels of waste.
It was a joint project between different council services run during 2022. All homes were given a range of information on tenants’ rights and responsibilities and enforcement action was also taken where necessary.
Existing legislative powers were used to tackle unlicensed HMOs, bins on footpaths, contaminated recycling bins, excess side waste and inadequate bins.
In the two streets HMOs were identified and visited. Five properties in the two streets were found to be unlicensed HMOs and four received penalties of more than £100,000.
Enforcement officers also made visits to monitor waste issues and to check that there were enough wheelie bins for the number of tenants. Advice was also given about the problem of leaving excess waste and overflowing bins.
Landlords were also reminded that a breach of the licence condition was a criminal offence and landlords were invited to contact the team should the licence holder be unsure of any of their legal duties.
Cllr David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, said:
“This has been a real success, but we need to continue this approach where we can.
“Local people are fed up with overflowing bins, and we needed to use a combination of education and enforcement action. We wanted to make the neighbourhood better, and reduce the amount of waste building up on the kerbside.
“Part of our approach was to link different services together and talk to landlords and highlight the need to keep the neighbourhood cleaner. Licences for HMOs help us to maintain better standards because everyone understands their responsibilities.”
The enforcement pilot involved the Council’s regulatory service dealing with licensing of HMOs and agreeing licensing conditions which focussed on waste management.
All homes were also given information on tenants’ rights and responsibilities.
Cllr Welsh added:
“More than £7,000 has been invested by landlords in the area to date to ensure that their properties meet the minimum HMO legal standards.
“Feedback from residents has been good but we can’t be complacent.”
The citywide figure for investment by Landlords in HMOs is estimated to be £1.64m.
Mr Fox, St George’s Road, said:
“We had noticed improvements through the work that had been done in the street and we understand the challenges the Council faces.
“We appreciate the efforts made by the Council and will monitor future developments and make any complaints to the relevant departments and officers.
“The Council has worked with residents and supported and listened to us, and are taking steps and changes to improve things.”
Alleyways were also cleared and reminders were given to ask residents to remove their wheeled bin from the kerbside. Notices were also served on two properties because of waste in the gardens.
Some residents have become Street Champions and help with reporting problems when they happen.