In response to an enquiry from the media, we issued the following response about Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
A council spokesperson said: “We have licensed over 450 properties as houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) since 2018 when the requirements were extended to mean that rental properties with five or more tenants and fewer than three storeys became eligible for licensing as HMOs. The total number of licensed HMOs in Cambridge is now 808, and we would like to thank those landlords who have come forward.
"We estimate there may be a further 640 licensable properties, and will continue our work, including proactive inspection, to confirm that those properties are safe and suitable and whether they need to be licensed as an HMO. We eagerly await the introduction of the government’s proposed rental property portal, which will enable us to more easily identify licensable HMOs and further crack down on criminal landlords.
“It’s really important that HMOs are correctly licensed, as correct licensing ensures greater safety for tenants in their homes. If a tenant is living in a rental property that’s occupied by five or more individual ‘households’, sharing kitchen or bathroom facilities, it’s probably a licensable HMO. Tenants can check whether their accommodation is licensed by contacting our Environmental Services team, who can also investigate any safety concerns tenants may have about their rental accommodation.
"We would also encourage landlords to contact our team as soon as possible, if your property may be an HMO to ensure that it is licensed as necessary.”
Contact the Environmental Health team
The executive councillor leading on this matter is Cllr Gerri Bird (Labour), Executive Councillor for Housing. Spokespersons for the other political groups on this issue are Cllr Katie Porrer (Liberal Democrat) and Cllr Matthew Howard (Green/Independent Group).