24 Mar 2022

A council says it’s considering introducing criminal record checks on individuals who apply to run HMOs as part of a wide-ranging crackdown. 

Cornwall Council is asking for views on how it uses enforcement powers to regulate the condition of privately rented housing.

It says it particularly wants to hear from private sector tenants, private landlords, lettings agents, landlord and tenant associations, social housing providers, purpose-built student accommodation providers and student unions.

The draft policy includes the following changes:

  • plans to restrict the duration of House in Multiple Occupation licences when a dwelling does not have the required planning permission in place;
  • the introduction of a criminal record check for HMO licence applicants to bring property licensing in line with other council administered licensing schemes and offer greater protection for occupiers against rogue landlord behaviour;
  • to how the council intends to regulate houses that fail to meet minimum energy efficiency standards;
  • unspecified but “increased service provision relating to illegal evictions”;
  • how the council will discharge its responsibilities for issuing different types of penalty notices.

Cornwall Council cabinet portfolio holder for housing and planning Olly Monk says: “We take our responsibilities around private sector rented housing seriously. Your feedback will help us to ensure that our policy continues to effectively influence quality and safety standards.” 

You can see the consultation for yourself here.

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