Plans to consult with residents and landlords over additional licensing for privately rented properties across the city have been approved by cabinet members.
In part, the proposal to widen the councilâ€™s licensing scheme has been raised by councillors in Selly Oak and Erdington districts responding to concerns by local residents.Â The council would also like to support vulnerable tenants living in hostels by extending the existing HMO (multiple-occupancy) licensing.
Birmingham City Councilâ€™s cabinet member for social cohesion, equalities and community safety, Cllr James McKay, said: â€œIn Selly Oak the development of student housing is having an adverse effect on the local community.Â Despite the efforts of the council alongside the University, police and local residents, some developers are ignoring the need for planning consent and building regulations resulting in significant environmental damage.
â€œIn Stockland Green, the local Community Safety Partnership has also raised concerns about anti-social behaviour in the area which appears to be linked to privately rented properties.”
Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for health and wellbeing, Cllr John Cotton, added: â€œWeâ€™d like to extend the current HMO licensing scheme to cover hostels citywide.Â The current scheme, which ensures safety inspections are carried out by the HMO team, only applies to houses of three or more storeys with five or more people sharing facilities.Â By widening the scheme, to include two storey premises weâ€™re hoping to extend this protection to other vulnerable citizens and prosecute unscrupulous landlords who seek to exploit them.
â€œThese new measures will build on our success in supporting Birminghamâ€™s growing private rented sector through initiatives like Let to Birmingham, the Landlords Forum and Private Rented Sector Week.Â Although the consultation is responding to concerns raised in Selly Oak and Erdington it may identify other wards needing assistance.â€
The council will consult with key stakeholders such as:
- Local resident groups
- Neighbourhood Forums
- District and Ward Committees
- District Housing Panels
- Local Community Safety Partner Agencies
- Universities and Colleges
- Student Unions
- Council departments
- The cityâ€™s Landlord Forum
- Midland Landlords Association and the National Landlords Association
- Housing agencies supporting vulnerable tenants
For further media information contact Debbie Harrison on 303 4476