Landlords are being warned to stay on the right side of the law when converting homes into accommodation for multiple tenants.
Newark and Sherwood District Council is warning landlords that making such changes can have a significant impact on their responsibilities.
They must apply for a house in multiple occupation (HMO) licence if their property is three storeys or more and is occupied by five or more people.
Operating without a licence can lead to a maximum fine of £20,000 and six months in jail. The courts can also impose rent repayment orders leaving the owner seriously out of pocket.
By law, properties of two stories or less, which are in multiple occupancy, are required to meet certain standards in terms of safety, size, amenities, fire precautions, means of escape from fire and state of repair.
Alan Batty, the district council’s business unit manager for environmental health, said: “We have a policy of working with businesses to find solutions by co-operation and keep in mind the maxim that prevention is better than cure.
“Therefore, landlords who may find themselves with such HMOs, or are considering such conversions, are asked to seek the advice of the council at the earliest opportunity.”