Police in South Shields have called for the sharing of information about tenants in HMOs - and a council is considering asking landlords to sign up to formal agreements to do so.
Local media say the council has in recent months discussed social problems relating to some tenants in HMOs in the area, and now local police have entered the debate.
PC Jo Pepper, a neighbourhood officer, told a council meeting of the usefulness of sharing info on tenants.
“It also benefits HMO owners because we're not knocking on their door looking for someone who left last week. We want to share information with owners and have a good relationship with them” she said.
And she continued: “I would like to know what convictions they have got and where they're living so I know that if I need to safeguard people around them I can."
The council is now considering osking buy to let investors - and presumably agents acting for them - to sign Information Sharing Agreements.
They would be applied on a case by case basis, subject to a legal process, and are not mandatory, the meeting heard.
Pepper added there was "red tape" around private HMOs in finding out how many people were living there.
"I have some landlords who are great and very proactive and want our help and I have others who say I can't come in without a warrant” she told the meeting.
The council is expected to make a decision on the issue in the next three months.
You can read a local newspaper report on the subject here.