Newham Council new Landlord Licensing – advice needed

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Newham Council new Landlord Licensing - advice neededIf anyone is a current landlord in the borough of Newham please can you share your experience of council expectations of standard let properties?

I have reviewed their guide, however, today a letting agent commented that a buy to let property I was considering was very, very small and wouldn’t pass the council’s requirements.

I was surprised as the house was not small!

I checked the minimum square metre requirements for the bedrooms, kitchen and living/lounge/reception which seem to be pretty reasonable, i.e. not exceptionally large, e.g. 1 adult occupant in a bedroom, size must be minimum of 6.5 square metres.

Given the comment from the letting agent, I am now wondering if there is more to the story that is not being outlined/highlighted in the documentation that the council provide?

There is also a massive 30,000 application backlog in their system at the moment!

From what I have read, it appears at first pass that a landlord can’t legally let tenants move in until the license has been granted for new properties. The advice at the moment is that it takes 8 weeks to process the application (not sure if that takes current backlog into consideration), which is two months of mortgage payments without income from the property.

Is my understanding correct?

Has anyone bought and tried to license a property in Newham in 2013?

Any advice, warnings or tips you can offer will be appreciated.

Cheers

Sondra

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Comments

  • David Green says:

    I am sure that I am niaive but why would you want to tell the council about your property? Also what is a spammer?


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  • Paul Barrett Member Profile Deleted says:

    Cos; Dave if you don’t Newham will effectively bankrupt you when they fine you up to £20000.00
    Spammer is someone sending out marketing emails for things you have never asked to be sent info about.
    Any LL in Newham will NOT register until they have a tenant.
    Then it doesn’t matter if they have an existing tenant; they will have applied.
    Can’t see a Newham prosecuting a LL for tasking on a HB claimant at a property not fully licenced, when the application is one of those 30000!!
    I would imagine that providing you have applied for licencing then there shouldn’t be a problem.
    BUT don’t think you can get away with licencing; cos you won’t!


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  • A spammer can also be a robot created to post advertising links on other people’s websites


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  • Hi, I have no experience in Newham but my husband and I have set up a couple of HMO’s in our own area. From our experience it pays to keep the council onside. Even why your just looking at buying ring them up and ask their advice, they’ll be able to tell you if a property is ok or not. If possible try to get the name of the person you speak you and then if you contact them again try to speak to the same person, we’ve found having a good contact has helped us greatly.
    Good luck !!!!!


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  • Makes you wonder how suddenly some of the smaller properties that were built during the 1930s are now considered as unsuitable even for a single adult!

    Bureaucratic madness!

    I would avoid Newham with a barge pole!


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  • its not the 1930′s so much as the conversions and 1980′s houses that will struggle to be economic lets. i bet there are 3 bed houses in beckton that will have a max occupancy of 2 persons according to the licence. ‘fortunately’ i was able to persuade LBN to relax their original overcrowding proposals which were even more stringent (that was all they changed as a result of the so called consultation). for HMO’s the standard is 8.5m2 for 1 person, but LBN will relax to 6.5m2 if there is sufficient communal space in the property. if you have any questions you should contact LBN licensing team. LBN are very anti landlord and anti leaseholders of their council blocks (although of course they would argue otherwise…they have a whole strategy [propaganda] department!


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  • For what it is worth I applied for a licence in Dec 2012 and paid. So far all I have heard from Newham council is the automated e-mail receipt. I gave them a date when I expected it to be occupied which passed ages ago. They must be so swamped I can’t see them making too many problems or they will never get through the backlog. Pleased to say I only have 1 property here the rest are in Bristol.


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  • Tony Cronin says:

    Also applied for license but I don’t expect to hear from Newham simply because should they decide that the properties are unsuitable then they have to immediately find alternatve accomodation for the evicted tenants. So would they? of course not. Purely a way of raising money. In addition they know who are the bad landlords and have they done much about it – no; for the same reason.


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  • I hope it is OK for me to resurrect this earlier article in the light of Southwark Council’s decision to bring in mandatory licensing for private sector landlords. I wanted to ask any Newham landlords who rent to 3 sharers whether my understanding is correct – that under the Newham license scheme they had to also apply for an HMO licence? I read that Southwark have analysed the Newham scheme so I have taken a look to see how the Newham Council scheme works, as it could be similar. Newham Council seem to require properties with 3 sharers to be licensed now, as an HMO, as well as for a privately rented property. Any advice anyone can throw in would be appreciated, even though I know this has only just been announced so would not come into force for a year or more. Thank you.


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  • Yes in fact not just 3 sharers, but even 2 sharers are now classified as HMO, since I applied for a single household license, having filled an online form in which i stated that one of the occupiers is a relative of the main tenant, (cousin) but their automated system automatically categorized it as HMO, so i objected and wrote to them that is not so, it is a one family husband wife and a cousin and one infant, so it got re-classified correctly as a single household with maximum 5 persons allowed.

    Remember HMO means more trouble, because you then got to provide 1/2hr fire doors, and what not,

    as for floor area, the minimum room size should be 4.6 to 6.49 sq meters for 1 person under age 10, and 6.5sq.m. to 10.19sq m for 1 adult any age, and 10.2sq m or more 2 persons..

    However, I have 3 rooms in this house, it is classified as a 2 bedroom First floor flat, with no access to a garden, biggest rom is 14.8 sq m, so that is good for 2 adults, and next biggest is 13 sq m, so this also good for 2 adults, and a middle room that is just 7.5sq m so good for 1 adult, so in all I have been given a license for 5 adults. (I will make sure the husband and wife use contraception when they have sex as any babies arriving means they will need to find a bigger property andpaymorerent! or I could be fined and lose my license! ) That is Newham for you!

    If there are 2 or more sharers, it will need to be licensed as HMO, in which case the smallest room acceptable is 8.5sq m to 12.99 sq m, for 1 adult, or in some exceptional case, a 6.5sq m will be accepted if there is a sufficient communal space available in the property.

    2 persons can also share a room 10.2sq m if there is sufficient communal space,

    I think you can get to these rules on Newham website. That is where i got mine from last year, but if or when I do dig out that link I might post it here.

    In am just waiting for Newham to tell us how to wipe our arse, because the other day I swept some fallen tree leaves from my front garden that fell off the Council owned tree, and just a handful leaves, I binned them, and the refuse collection driver dismounted from his truck, left its engine running and came over to tick me off, threatened me that my bin will not be emptied of bin any more leaves! and that I have to ring the Green waste section to arrange for a special collection for green waste, so I will be now booking a special collection to come and collect a small shopping bag full of fallen tree leaves , which does not make very economical sense does it!

    So I can’t wait for them to set new rules how to wipe our arse!


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