The Labour party is urging HMO landlords to only rent rooms out if they are en-suite, and to undertake weekly “deep-cleans” of their properties.
The idea has been floated by its Northampton wing, whose leader Danielle Stone has raised concerns that HMOs in the city, where tenants live communally sharing both washing, toilet and cooking facilities, are helping spread the virus.
“All HMOs should be en-suites. Strangers sharing bathrooms makes secure hygiene impossible. It makes social isolation, sheltering, or quarantining next to impossible,” she said, adding, “where different households share an entrance and communal areas, there should be a requirement for landlords to undertake a weekly deep clean.”
Northampton has around 1,000 large and small HMOs registered within its mandatory and additional licensing schemes, and Stone has said that some landlords’ sloppy approach to providing hygienic facilities is helping create “Covid-spreading traps”.
Her party has also gone a step further and urged local landlords to ‘be responsible’ and only rent out rooms within their HMOs if they have en-suite bathrooms until the pandemic dies down.