Crackdown on unlicensed multiple occupancy households in North Northamptonshire

Environmental health

14 July 2023

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Illicit households of multiple occupancy have been targeted in North Northamptonshire in a bid to improve housing standards and make communities safer.

North Northamptonshire Council joined forces with Northamptonshire Police in the crackdown which targeted 76 private properties in the East Northants, Kettering and Wellingborough areas.

Of the houses inspected during the week of action, four were discovered to be unlicensed, 68 were houses of multiple occupancy (HMO) that did not require a licence because of their size, while four are still being investigated. One property was found to be the location of a cannabis factory.

The landlord of any HMO is required to meet certain requirements under regulations and those HMOs of five or more tenants need to be licenced. HMOs that are poorly managed and badly maintained can put an extra burden on local services and have a negative impact on an area. 

A financial penalty of up to £30,000, plus a repayment of rent order, may be imposed if a landlord is operating a licensable HMO without a licence.

The Council is urging any landlord who has yet to register their HMO to apply for the relevant licence.

The authority is also asking any residents who suspect an unlicensed HMO in their area to make contact by emailing: [email protected]. This can be done anonymously.

It is important that authorised officers of the Council identify and inspect unregulated HMOs and tackle those landlords that choose to ignore the law, so that these properties can be properly managed moving forward and to ensure the safety of tenants which is paramount. This week of action has been successful and future planned ones will continue.Cllr Mark Rowley, the Council’s Executive Member for Housing, Communities and Levelling Up
The partnership working we do is so important in supporting a good quality of life for our communities.

Joining these visits enabled us to support the HMO team, building partnerships while identifying any criminal activity and supporting and safeguarding any vulnerable people.

At one address in Kettering we also located a cannabis grow which is now being investigated, and I’m sure its removal is a relief to all who will have been affected by it.
Neighbourhood Inspector for Corby and Kettering Paul Cash, of Northamptonshire Police