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Local people invited to share their experiences of shared housing

Tenants, landlords and those living or working near houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) in Portsmouth are being urged to share their experiences in a survey before it closes on 16 January 2022.

According to estimates developed by Portsmouth City Council, there are around 6,000 HMOs in Portsmouth – and the council would like to hear from residents in the city about what it’s like to live in or near an HMO, or indeed what it’s like to own or manage one.

An HMO is a property that has at least three tenants who form more than one household, but who share areas like kitchens or bathrooms.

For tenants, the new survey explores topics including how long people have lived in HMOs, the quality of the accommodation and how comfortable people feel talking to their landlord about repairs, while for landlords the focus is more about getting a feel for the types of issues they face and whether they’d value more input from the council. Local residents who live or work near HMOs will also be asked about the type of impact these properties may have on their day-to-day life.

Cllr Darren Sanders, the council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Preventing Homelessness, said: “We know that many landlords managing and tenants living in HMOs do right by each other, but we know that for some it can be challenging – whether it’s a landlord not abiding by their duties, or tenants not fulfilling their end of the bargain. I’d urge as many people as possible to take part in this survey so we can build a clearer picture about the realities faced by those living in, living near or managing HMOs.”

People can complete the survey in a range of ways – by calling 023 9261 6708 or by visiting www.portsmouth.gov.uk/HMO-survey People can also pick up a paper copy by visiting a library or community centre from Monday 13 December, or by calling 023 9261 6708.