Landlords renting out homes in Luton have been told that they will be fined £20,000 if they are found to be offering substandard accommodation and they fail to adhere to licensing regulations.
Luton Borough Council has introduced a number of new rules relating to those who own houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), of which there are estimated to be around 2,000 in the town, reports Luton Today.
Any that are found to be damp, cold, dirty or insecure could alert the attention of the local authority, which has vowed not to issue a license until they are brought up to the required standard. This will mean plenty of landlords have to fund improvements if they are to continue being able to rent out their properties.
Paul Garraway, corporate director for housing and community living at the council, said the licensing scheme should stop irresponsible landlords offering poor quality homes and taking advantage of tenants.
"We have already seen an improvement in the standard of many HMOs, which is why we will take action against any landlord not complying," he stated.
"Our officers are working hard to identify every property affected by these changes but we would still like landlords to come forward themselves and apply online."
Any tenants who believe they are living in rented accommodation that does not meet the council's rules could be wise to inform the relevant department and await an inspection.
Luton Borough Council is introducing the scheme in several phases, with the current stage meaning HMOs of one or two storeys in which at least five people live have to be licensed. Further types of household will come under the regulations in future phases.
Landlords must apply for a license from the council if they are to continue operating legally and the fee they have to pay will depend on the size and number of bedrooms of their property.
Published on: February 27, 2014