Improving standards in HMOs


A scheme that gives extra powers to the Council to deliver improvements in Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) is set to be extended.


Cardiff Council introduced an additional licensing scheme in the Plasnewydd ward in 2014 following the success of implementing the same measures in Cathays in 2010.


The aim of the schemes is to improve the standard of multiple-occupancy rented property as well as wider community issues such as waste, anti-social behaviour, energy efficiency and property security. Covering most rented properties with three or more occupiers, who form two or more households, they are part of an effective solution to the impact of the high student population in these particular areas.


The first designated five-year term of the Plaswnewydd scheme has delivered significant benefits by securing enhanced housing and wider community benefits. But with evidence of continued non-conformity with statutory requirements in the private rented sector, the Council is proposing to re-declare the ward as an additional licensing area, to build on the positive platform already established.


Consultation on the re-declaration took place at the end of last year. The proposed second designation would begin on January 1, 2021 to run for a period of five years.


Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities, Cllr Lynda Thorne, said: "The Additional Licensing Scheme has been a valuable tool in applying standards and improvements to a large number of properties in Plasnewydd that otherwise would have been exempt from the licensing regime, but there is a long way to go to ensure these improvements are fully realised.


"Private rented accommodation is an important sector of the housing market in Cardiff. The Additional Licensing scheme is key to securing improved standards of accommodation, better management of properties and improved safety for tenants, and improvements for the wider community."


Cabinet will consider the recommendation to re-declare Plasnewydd as an Additional Licensing area at its next meeting on Thursday, September 17.  Cabinet is also recommended to approve a consultation exercise on the re-declaration of the Cathays Additional Licensing scheme. The current scheme expires on January 1, 2021.