WDC delays measures to make rented homes safe

Wycombe Labour was disappointed last night as WDC‘s Cabinet deferred the introduction of ‘Additional Licensing’ for Houses in Multi-Occupancy (HMOs).  

Councillor Ian Bates, the Leader of the Labour Group on WDC, said “I was a member of the small Task and Finish Group which considered proposals to introduce Additional Licensing to all of Wycombe.  

At the moment, only a couple of hundred properties are covered by the national compulsory licensing scheme.  Additional Licensing would have covered about 2000 properties in Wycombe.   Landlords would have applied for a licence if they wanted to rent a property covered by the scheme and WDC officials would have inspected the property to ensure it
was safe and in good condition.   

Too many HMOs at present are overcrowded, in poor repair, unsafe with dangerous gas and electricity systems and plagued by vermin.   Too many HMOs are a danger to their tenants and to their neighbours.     Poorly maintained and unsafe properties are bad news for residential areas causing neighbourhoods to go into decline.  

The Cabinet agreed to carry out a survey of properties.  However, this is not going to help tenants in unhealthy and unsafe properties and it is not going to help their neighbours who are also at risk.   

Despite some sympathetic noises it’s unclear that anything concrete will come from the proposals to the Cabinet.  

This was a chance to improve the lives of a lot of people, to give tenants better standards of accommodation and improve many areas for all Wycombe’s residents.  The interests of a few landlords seem to be holding sway over the general good of the town.” 

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