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Consultation on HMO regulation to begin in September

PUBLISHED: 10:34 15 August 2016 | UPDATED: 10:34 15 August 2016

Bexley Council offices

Bexley Council offices

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Bexley currently has approximately 1,400 small HMOs

Bexley council is planning to enforce new regulations on the growing number of houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) in the borough.

Campaigners have previously criticised the dwellings, which often provide tenants with a single room inside a house, which is then shared with other tenants.

Under current rules, only three-storey houses containing five or more people in two or more households with shared facilities need a licence.

There are 22 of these across Bexley.

But proposals would see any sized HMO requiring a general licence, and in certain areas of the borough, all forms of private rented accommodation would need licensing.

Data suggests Bexley has around 1,400 small HMOs and has seen a significant rise in 2016.

Leader at Bexley council, Teresa O’Neill, said: “We understand residents’ have some concerns around HMOs and it is unfortunate that on occasion these properties are used simply to maximise profits by a small minority of private landlords.

“We must recognise however, that there is also a need for well managed HMOs in the borough.

“Many are used by students or young professionals, some are there to ease the enormous housing pressure that we are currently under

“But we must have some better local regulation in place. This new licensing scheme is being proposed in the current absence of any nationally applied rules.”

HMO numbers in Bexley are lower than other London boroughs, according to Bexley council.

New legislation for HMOs to require planning application approval could come into force next year.

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