In the spirit of my commitment to openness and transparency in the course of my public service to the people of Church Hill I will share my positions on certain topics from time to time and attempt to explain my reasoning when I approach certain issues.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

HMO is a term that is used to define accommodation that is owned by a private landlord and shared among a number of people. The acronym stands for a House in Multiple Occupation. There are a range of different types of accommodation that could fall under this definition, depending on how many people are living there and what the living arrangements are. As a general rule, where there are three or more tenants in a property who make up more than one household with shared toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities, this could be an HMO. This could cover:

  • A number of bedsits in one building
  • A hostel
  • Halls of residence (private)
  • A shared house
  • A block of converted flats
  • Individual shared self contained cluster flats.

My Position

My position in relation to HMOs is they must follow the Borough Council’s Amenity Standards Guide (PDF) to the very best of their ability. The safety, security and wellbeing of any person living in Church Hill is the most important priority for me as a local Councillor and I will be disappointed to hear about any landlords who are not adhering to these standards.

However, I also fully support landlords in their desire to provide safe, affordable and appropriate accommodation to the people of Church Hill and where tenants are abusing the good faith of landlords I will support a landlord’s right to seek remedies, which may even include lawful eviction.

I will not support eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic as this is illegal unless carried out for severe anti-social behaviour reasons or due to more than 6 months of rent arrears. In these circumstances the council still has a statutory obligation to prevent homelessness and I will support anyone who finds themselves at risk of homelessness.

I will not support threats and abuse by landlords or tenants, including threats to carry out illegal evictions.

I will not support tenants behaving in such a manner that they are deliberating causing damage to their landlord’s property, their area and their communities.

I hope this position outlines the fair approach I take to HMO issues in Church Hill.

If you – or someone you know – is in need of support in relation to housing and they currently live in Church Hill please email mike.rouse@redditchbc.gov.uk or call 07743125474.