HMOs “Scare” Home Owners – MP’s Claim
An MP says owner occupiers are “scared, unable to sleep at night, worried about their safety and even concerned about whether they will be able to sell their properties” because of the glut of nearby HMOs.
Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck, who represents South Shields, writes in the Shields Gazette that well-managed HMOs offer support to tenants but that during the cost of living crisis many have become too crowded or too dense in any one area.
She says: “In South Shields, where there is a large concentration of HMOs, myself and my team have heard multiple cases where residents are scared, unable to sleep at night, worried about their safety and even concerned about whether they will be able to sell their properties on in the future due to behaviour of some of the tenants in these properties.
“This rise in anti-social behaviour has included drug dealing, aggressive behaviour, excessive noise, and public urination. Not only is this bad for residents and the wider community but having people unwilling to adhere to the terms of their tenancy or support package offered will have a detrimental impact on others who live in the same HMO.”
She says councils must engage with residents and ensure local voices are heard when granting and enforcing HMO licenses.
But she goes on to claim the issue is a party political one, writing that: “This Tory government has a lot to answer for”
Lewell-Buck claims that the wider issue clearly is that a lack of housing stock, saying “the Tory record on housing now includes over 1 million households on the waiting list for social homes and over 100,000 stuck in limbo.”
She concludes: “It is not just tenants who are the casualties of the Tory housing crisis and their broken promise to build 300,000 homes per year, it is our local residents and those stuck in HMOs having to deal with the consequences of a broken system.”