LETTER: Will new licensing plan encouraging houses in multiple occupation

It is a sad fact that houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) are, and will be endemic in many areas due to the one fact that there are not enough houses, and too many people with insufficient income to cover the rent required.

That is bad enough, but there are a few other problems that do not reach the headlines, and these are very important.

The demand from existing pipe work for more water puts a strain on the mains water supply, this has been known to cause the collapse of main supply pipes, road up, pavement up, and a good deal of disruption follows.

The same thing with electricity, main supply cables heat up, some explode and cause fires. Again a huge disruption locally.

An increase in condensation within each occupied room, being the start of Black Mould everywhere. Pile this on top of close living/sleeping in many rooms and the rise of contagious diseases from this same situation brings to the fore that general health and safety could now be compromised.

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There is also the nightmare of shared kitchens, toilet/bathrooms, gardens neglected and overgrown with waste strewn about, this could be helping in the rise of the rat population.

HMOs are a risk at any level, they should be banned. They are so easily recognised, the rubbish they create cannot be hidden, every week at bin collection time they advertise themselves, also power supply companies know where there is a huge demand from the meter that records consumption.

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If this licence is introduced, is this aiding and abetting the practice of hot bedding? With the licence, the consensus is that it’s OK to promote multiple occupation, after all the landlord will have a piece of paper giving him permission.

At one time rates were charged dependent on how many people were in residence. This would put a stop to HMOs. It was scrapped when Mrs Thatcher lost her seat.

Now we have our Prime Minister trying to shut the gate after the horse has bolted. Now is much too late. ALAN LAY

Cambs County Council

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