Landlords of Houses in Multiple Occupation who have not yet applied to Wrexham Council for their licences are being warned that enforcement action is being prepared by the Council.
The licences were introduced in 2011 to ensure properties in this sector are safe and offer high standards of general facilities, amenities and living conditions for the rent paying tenants.
Over 240 licence applications have been received in the first 12 months of the Council’s Additional Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation Scheme. Of the applications made over 10% relate to HMOs not previously known to the Council’s Housing Standards team.
There are still many landlords that have yet to apply for their licenses and enforcement action is being prepared in specific cases. Landlords that have yet to apply are strongly advised to apply now for their licences. Failure to licence can result in prosecution proceedings and a fine of up to £20,000 as well as the possibility of having to repay rent received during the period of operating without a licence.
Landlords are also reminded that proposals are now being considered to withdraw the licence fee discount. The current discount means that a 5 year licence costs £350. New fee levels may mean a licence costs around £1,000.
Applications can be made online through the Council’s website www.wrexham.gov.uk/hmo Landlords can also submit paper application forms which can be downloaded from the above web link or can be requested by contacting the Council’s Housing Standards team.
Lead Member for Housing, Cllr Mark Pritchard, said “We believe we have given landlords enough time to apply for their licences and officers are now working with our legal department to take enforcement action against those landlords that have not applied. I would like to thank all those responsible landlords who have already applied for and been awarded their licences and assure them we will take action against those landlords who are choosing not to apply for their licences. Staff too deserve praise for bringing in the new policy and helping to raise the standards of housing in the county borough.”
The clear message to landlords is ‘Do not delay any longer before submitting your HMO licence applications. The Council are determined to have all HMOs in Wrexham licensed and the Council will prosecute landlords who don’t comply.”
(Photo shows responsible landlords who have received or applied for their licences. l-r Jeremy Cooper, Kim Peers, Chris Jones, Zac Williams, Mair Hughes and Pam Gibbons.)