HMO warden is called for

Calls have been made for a warden to be introduced at a proposed HMO in Gorebridge.

The request was made at last week’s general purposes committee meeting when councillors considered a House of Multiple Occupation application for 54 Main Street.

It is hoped a warden at the property, which would have four tenants, would reduce any potential antisocial behaviour.

Councillors deferred a decision on the application allowing landlord Elaine Collins time to consider their offer.

The committee received nine letters of objection from local residents concerned at antisocial behaviour in the Main Street area.

The committee is keen to set a precedent for HMO licence applications ahead of the introduction of welfare reforms, which could see a rise in the number of HMOs.

Councillor Jim Muirhead (Lab) told the meeting: “I think there is an opportunity here for some kind of assurance that the applicant will employ a warden at night.

“I think they can work with the landlord here to make sure she addresses any problems that arise.”

He told the meeting that HMOs will become more common place in communities everywhere, with planned laws forcing public sector landlords to fill all available bedrooms.

He added: “This is an opportunity to get some dialogue with the people living there to make sure they are managed correctly and in co-operation with the housing department.

“I think the best way forward is to grant the application, but with some clauses and assurances from the applicant regarding a warden.”

Ms Collins’ agent said: “She has seriously given thought to bringing in a warden.

“There is a distinct possibility that she will get one.”
He added that Ms Collins felt “quite strongly” about the nature of the objections.

Local residents were disappointed but spokesman Stephanie Walker said later: “We welcome the council’s serious consideration of the issues raised and I guess we now have to await the next stage.

“We are very happy to work with the council to come out with a positive resolution to benefit everyone in the community and provide that additional support that vulnerable people require.”