Additional Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation in Stanmore Winchester – Consultation Launched

Press Release: 11/07/2011

Stanmore

Winchester City Council has launched a consultation to seek views on the proposal to implement an Additional Licensing Scheme for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in Stanmore. Residents, landlords, businesses and other interested parties are invited to comment between 1 July – 31 October 2011.

It is estimated that there are in excess of 300 HMOs in the Stanmore neighbourhood the majority of which are occupied by students, young professionals and working individuals. It is recognised that these HMOs provide a valuable housing supply for this section of the population, but it is equally acknowledged that high concentrations and poorly maintained HMO accommodation can have a detrimental impact on the communities in which they are located.

The aim of the additional licensing scheme would be to ensure that all HMOs in the Stanmore area achieve at least the minimum standard detailed in guidance for fire safety, that satisfactory amenity, management arrangements are in place and that properties are free from serious hazards.

Although a large number of HMOs in Stanmore are well managed and are of a good standard having been accredited by the council through a voluntary scheme, problems of poor internal and external conditions, management and lack of adequate fire precautions  still exist in many other HMOs in Stanmore.

Cllr Tony Coates, Portfolio Holder for Housing said, “We are exploring the possibilities of this additional licensing scheme following feedback from local residents in the Stanmore Community Plan, as well as the private sector house condition survey from 2007 which identified HMOs as being the most likely to need repair. We hope all members of the community in Stanmore will let us know their views on the scheme to decide if we take this project forward.”

To find out more about the Additional Licensing consultation and complete a questionnaire on-line, please visit www.winchester.gov.uk/stanmore-hmo

Alternatively, residents can request a paper copy of the questionnaire from the Council’s Private Sector Housing Team on 01962 848 483, or via email _privatesectorhousing@winchester.gov.uk or in person by visiting:
Private Sector Housing Team, Winchester City Council, City Offices Colebrook Street, Winchester, Hampshire, SO23 9LJ.

A public meeting to discuss the proposal to introduce Additional Licensing is to take place for residents, tenants and students of the Stanmore neighbourhood (St Luke’s Ward) on Wednesday 12 October 2011 at 6.30pm in the main auditorium at Winchester Family Church, Stanmore Lane, Winchester, SO22 4BT.