In March 2022 Housing Enforcement launched a programme to inspect all HMOs within Fylde to improve conditions and maintain standards. HMOs are at a higher risk of fire and overcrowding HMOs house some of the districts most vulnerable tenants. It is estimated there are around 530 HMOs in Fylde with around 800 units in the central ward of St Annes alone. The programme is to take place over the next two years with a view to extend for a further 2 years.
Why is an inspection programme needed?
Under Part 1 of the Housing Act 2004, Local housing authorities have a statutory duty to review housing conditions within their districts. Since July 2021 eight Emergency Prohibition Orders have been served on houses in multiple occupation, all these properties were in an extremely poor, unsafe condition, and were not fit for human habitation. Most of the residents had underlying health conditions and were on some form of benefit. This highlighted the need for a proactive programme of inspection, the aim of the programme is to:
- Establish the true number HMOs and are they Mandatory or S.257.
- Carry out full HHSRS surveys.
- Conduct an inspection under the Licensing and Management of HMO Regulations.
- Provide support for tenants such as, tenancy, substance, and financial support.
- Joint visits with partner agencies such as Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service.
What we want to achieve
HMOs provide essential housing provision by offering accommodation to those unable to buy or rent larger accommodation. Fylde Council want to work with tenants and landlords to maintain HMOs by completing repairs in a timely manner and bring them up to current standards. HMOs are transient in nature, we want to work with both tenants and landlords to maintain tenancies which provides security, reduces anti-social behaviour, builds communities, and promotes employment.
What we expect from landlords:
- Heating that is programable and temperature controlled
- Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR) every 5 years
- Gas Safety Inspection annually
- Carry out repairs and routine maintenance
- Provide a secure and safe environment
- Routine inspections of the property
What landlords can expect from Housing Services:
- A full HHSRS survey.
- Advice on standards and regulations.
- Support with tenants and maintaining relationships.
- The opportunity to build good working relationships with housing enforcement.
- Enforcement that is reasonable and fair.
- Tougher actions on rogue landlords.
Frequently asked questions
Why am I receiving this letter?
In accordance with the Housing Act 2004 a proactive inspection program is being implemented and is due to take place in St Annes from March 2022.
Why do you need to know the occupancy status of properties?
Establishing the status of all properties allows housing services to better assist vulnerable tenants and improve housing conditions within the borough.
I own my home; it is not a rental property.
Please inform us by email and we will amend our records: firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no need to do anything else. Once our records have been updated there will be no need for us to attend.
I will not be available on the day.
You do not need to attend the property. We will communicate with you further should we need to. However, if you would like to be in attendance, we can arrange a date and time that is mutually agreeable.
Please contact us by phone or email to rearrange. Tel. 01253 658683 Email: email@example.com
Why is an HMO programme necessary?
Recent complaints made to housing services regarding disrepair in Houses of Multiple Occupation have highlighted a need for an inspection programme.
I do not want the Council to come to my property.
We may not need to come to your property, but it is important that you contact us to discuss this further. You can contact us by phone or email: 01253 658683 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Why have you not given me an exact time for the visit?
The initial visit will be a door-to-door exercise this means officers will be visiting many properties within the designated area. Officers will do this over one day therefore, we cannot guarantee specific times.