Council seeks public input on new housing standards initiative

Date published: 01 June 2024

Rochdale Borough Council is inviting residents to share their opinions on proposed new licensing powers aimed at improving housing standards throughout the borough. Currently, mandatory licensing applies to houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) with five or more occupants.

Plans are in place to expand this scheme to include HMOs with three or more persons from two or more unrelated households who share basic amenities at the property.

This proposed additional licensing scheme, now open for public consultation, is expected to impact around 80 HMOs across the borough.

Under the new scheme, anyone wishing to operate a HMO with three or more occupants would need to apply for a council licence. To obtain this licence, applicants must pass a 'fit and proper person' test and have their properties undergo rigorous inspections by council housing officers.

Licensed landlords would be required to provide adequate amenities, including communal living areas, to ensure residents aren't confined to a single room for leisure. They must also offer formal tenancy agreements, providing tenants with proof of address and protection against sudden evictions.

The new regulations would impose additional responsibilities on landlords, such as regular maintenance checks on gas appliances and smoke alarms, and ensuring all facilities are well-maintained. The council would have the authority to conduct unannounced inspections and enter properties when necessary.

Rochdale residents are encouraged to participate in the consultation process to help shape the future of housing standards in the borough.

Councillor Danny Meredith, cabinet member for regeneration and housing at Rochdale Borough Council, said: “Being able to live in good quality housing that’s safe and comfortable is something that everybody really should be able to take for granted, but unfortunately this isn’t always the case.

“At the moment, smaller HMOs are not subject to the same regulations as larger ones, which means people living in these properties are afforded less protection, and that simply can’t be right.

“And, as there is no requirement under current conditions for landlords managing these properties to register with the council, we also run the risk of a hidden unregulated property market operating in the borough, which is not good for anybody.”

The consultation on the HMO additional licensing proposal can be accessed at

It runs until 11.59pm on Sunday 7 July.

There will also be face-to-face drop-ins for landlords and residents who want to know more on the following dates and times at the Rochdale Housing Solutions office at number 2 Smith Street, close to the Rochdale Transport Interchange:

  • Wednesday 12 June – 4.30 to 6.30pm
  • Wednesday 26 June – 4.30 to 6.30pm

People can email: to find out more about the consultation and raise concerns about an HMO property.

Anyone who has concerns about an HMO property, can call: 0300 303 8874.

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