Landlords fear new rules will see families evicted

A room which Azar Hussain says only somebody under 10 could live in
A room which Azar Hussain says only somebody under 10 could live in
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Landlords fear they will have to evict families due to new legislation introduced by Peterborough City Council to improve the rental sector.

Rules governing how many adults and children can sleep in a room have been tightened under selective licensing, to the dismay of landlords.

Landlords in the nine affected wards now have until December to apply for a licence for each of their properties to prove that they are safe for tenants.

But Azar Hussain said he is concerned he might have to evict a family of five living in a three bedroom semi-detached house in Central ward which he lets out.

That is because a 15-year-old boy sleeps in a room which only a child (classified as nine or under) can live in.

He said: “I can see what the council are trying to do as there are some landlords who shove anyone in their properties, but this is the wrong way to go about it.

“It’s going to exacerbate the problem with the housing waiting list.”

Anees Ahmed, director at The Lettings Shop, said: “We have 15-20 properties where we would have to send them a notice.

“This affects landlords who are meeting obligations anyway, but the ones they are trying to catch will avoid paying for the licence.”

Umar Saghir, business manager at Advance Accommodation, said selective licensing will make it “more difficult to rent out properties.”

Councillor Mohammed Nadeem, member for North ward, said: “The last thing we want is adding more families to the housing waiting list when the list is already at breaking point.”

Gary Goose, head of community services for the council, said: “Unless a property was found to be seriously overcrowded, we would not impose the condition relating to room sizes during an existing tenancy. However, once the property was re-let we would expect the landlord to adhere to the conditions.

“Housing is in great demand in Peterborough and only as an absolute last resort, where a property cannot be lived in or made suitable, would we prohibit its use.”