New rules to make sure landlords keep shared houses up to scratch are being planned by Aylesbury Vale District Council.
A licensing scheme to cover all shared homes is being consulted on to help prevent landlords renting out properties that are damp, cold, dirty, unsecure, too small or don’t have enough bathrooms or toilets.
It will also aim to ensure properties being rented out do not present a serious health hazard, such as by having dangerous gas appliances, faulty electrical systems, fire hazards or no smoke detectors.
Current legislation only covers large properties, but the council is proposing extending this to include all shared homes, or houses in multiple occupation, across the Vale.
It would mean at least 600 extra homes would be brought into the scheme, requiring landlords to apply for a new licence.
Councillor Sir Beville Stanier, cabinet member for environment and health, said: “We are determined that all private tenants in Aylesbury Vale live in safe, good quality accommodation.
“In addition to improving safety for private tenants, we think additional licensing could also improve the environment for those living nearby and bring significant benefits for the district by securing improved housing accommodation and better management of properties.”
An HMO is a building, or part of a building such as a flat, that is occupied by unrelated people or households who share facilities such as a bathroom, toilet or kitchen.
Properties covered by the current laws are three or more stories occupied by five or more people forming two or more households.
Landlords will be charged a fee for licensing their properties to cover the costs of the scheme.
A licence will last for five years and conditions would be attached to the licence to improve management practices and standards.
To find out more about the consultation and complete a questionnaire online, visit www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/hmoconsultation or call 01296 585605.
The consultation ends on April 13.