Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
Welsh housing minister Jon Owen Jones has welcomed plans to impose tough new conditions to protect tenants in house...
Welsh housing minister Jon Owen Jones has welcomed plans to impose tough new conditions to protect tenants in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

Mr Jones said: 'Some of the most vulnerable members of society, including young people and those who are socially or economically disadvantaged, live in HMOs.

'Living in a HMO is often the only housing option these people have, which is why we are proposing this new licensing scheme to protect tenants from overcrowded and poorly maintained housing.

'I believe that everyone has a right to decent and safe housing, which is why I am also concerned with the problems caused by the proliferation of HMOs in traditional residential areas. This is particularly true in areas of high student density, where poor quality, poorly maintained housing has a detrimental effect on permanent residents and students alike.

''Our proposals will bring existing HMOs up to standard whilst recognising the importance of maintaining an adequate supply of rented accommodation,' he said.

Licences will be issued and enforced by local authorities and will cover:

-the physical standards of the premises (including ensuring adequate fire safety, kitchen and bathroom facilities, and tackling overcrowding)

-standards of good management (for example proper maintenance schemes)

-the fitness of the licensee (this may include checking for criminal records and ensuring adequate training on, for example, fire safety).


1.The government indicated in June last year that it intended to consult on a licensing system for HMOs.

The worst housing conditions are often found in this sector, and research shows that the risk of death from fire is considerably greater than in comparable single occupancy housing.

Copies of the Welsh Office consultation paper 'Licensing of houses in multiple occupation' can be obtained from Kevin Murphy, Welsh Office, housing operations division 1, Cathays Park, Cardiff CF1 3NQ.

The closing date for responses is 2 July 1999.

The government is determined to improve the often poor conditions at the lower end of the private rented market. However, it is not proposing licensing for all rented housing. It believes that this would be bureaucratic and may discourage the supply of good quality rented housing.

Instead, the government is encouraging voluntary accreditation and licensing schemes. If these do not develop and raise standards over time, the government will consider alternative options.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.