Landlords in Newark and Sherwood are being warned to stay on the right side of the law when converting homes into accommodation for multiple tenants – or face a fine and possible imprisonment.
Recent changes in housing benefit payments - such as the bedroom tax and raising the age at which single people can claim - and the influx of migrant single workers to the area, can make the option of converting rental properties into shared homes a profitable one for landlords.
If their property is three stories or more and is occupied by five or more people living as two or more households the landlord must apply for a licence from Newark and Sherwood District Council.
Operating without a licence can lead to a maximum fine of £20,000 and six months imprisonment.
Alan Batty, Newark and Sherwood District Council’s Business Unit Manager for Environmental Health, said: “We have a policy of working with businesses to find solutions by agreement and cooperation and keep in mind the maxim that prevention is better than cure. Therefore, landlords who may find themselves with such HMOs or are considering such conversions, are asked to seek the advice of the council at the earliest opportunity.”
For more information, visit http://www.newark-sherwooddc.gov.uk/hmolicence; or tel: 01636 650000.