On October 30, at the communities committee meeting, Worcester city councilors were discussing a proposal to approve a 12-week public consultation to extend the HMO scheme in the city.
There are lots of HMOs these days in Worcester with the exception of St Peter’s, and the licensing scheme would aim to crack down on rogue landlords and improve standards.
Councillors discussed applying the scheme to those parts of Worcester where it was more necessary and where there were more HMOs, but Cllr Richard Udall said the scheme needs to be enforced in the whole city, saying: “I am a bit shocked and surprised at what is being said here. More regulation means more protection. Lowering standards is an invitation to rogue landlords to come into areas where there is no protection.”
The Worcester City Additional Licensing Scheme expires after five years, and after that the Council needs to review the scheme with a view to re-designation or discontinuation.
According to the report of the city council: “The implications of moving to an Additional Licensing scheme which is targeted at specific wards would be that City-wide improvements to private housing would not be sustained but that instead a targeted approach could be taken to problem areas.”
The committee agreed to send out the consultation and amended the recommendations of the report so that they will make the final decision on whether to declare the scheme, rather than the corporate director for homes and communities along with the chair and the committee vice-chair.