Another council unveils HMO licensing – at £1,001 each

Another council unveils HMO licensing – at £1,001 each

0:01 AM, 17th June 2024, About 4 weeks ago 5

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Sandwell Council says it will use additional licensing to tackle the ‘poor management of properties’ and the scheme will cover all HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupation) with three or more occupants.

This new borough-wide scheme aims to improve housing standards and tackle anti-social behaviour – though the council is warned ‘there is a risk that landlords who disagree with the implementation of the scheme may take legal action to prevent its introduction’.

Previously, only HMOs with five or more occupants required a licence.

The new scheme will start in October and affect around 3,000 properties needing to be licensed.

Landlords must pay £1,001 for each license – spread over two instalments of £642 and £359.

PRS plays an important part

In a report to the council’s cabinet, it says that the private rented sector (PRS) ‘plays an important part in providing accommodation’.

The PRS in Sandwell has grown from 5% in 2001 to 18.6% in 2021.

The report states: “The borough has faced a major increase in private rented accommodation in some areas and it is recognised that there are landlords and agents who do not provide adequate accommodation or management of their properties.

“This poor management of properties has a significant impact on people’s lives and on council and partner resources in tackling issues such as anti-social behaviour, fly tipping of domestic waste, concerns about property condition and harassment and illegal eviction.”

Additional licensing in parts of West Bromwich

The council has tried to address many of these issues and that includes introducing additional licensing in parts of West Bromwich – but ongoing pressures mean more licensing ‘is considered necessary’.

The license scheme will run for five years, and the council is about to undertake a promotion campaign to raise awareness of the scheme.

The council’s report also reveals that 53% of landlords and agents disagreed with the license proposal, and 47% agreed.


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Reluctant Landlord

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10:26 AM, 17th June 2024, About 4 weeks ago

the curse of licencing...now it's begun it will filter like the plague through all councils as its a no brainer income generating stream.

I foresee all private rental being subject to it eventually not just HMO's of all sizes.

All this means at the end of the day is rent increases to the tenant.

Mark C

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15:34 PM, 17th June 2024, About 4 weeks ago

For HMO’s I think that licencing is essential. Protects you and the tenant. Yes it can be a pain and bizarrely it can be different from council to council, however, when done properly the only issue is the additional cost, which is just the another cost of doing business.
I would like to see the money raised out pressure on those few landlords that give the rest of us a bad reputation.
Driving out bad landlords is essential to the reputation of the PRS.

Wayne Broadley

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5:05 AM, 18th June 2024, About 4 weeks ago

Mark C, do you really think that the rogue landlords are going to sign up and admit that they rent out a house?

It will only target good landlords and costs will probably be passed along to tenants.

I don't have HMO properties, I only let to families but the councils are slowly coming to the gravy train to rob us again under selective licencing.

Both the Conservatives and Labour are determined to kill off the PRS. I'm dreading to think what they have in store for landlords when we sell up at a quicker rate than the big boys that do the BTR can build houses and where are they going to put the rest of the people that they dont want?

Reluctant Landlord

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9:16 AM, 18th June 2024, About 4 weeks ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark C at 17/06/2024 - 15:34
no licencing is 'essential'. Legislation is already in place in regard to housing standards in the PRS.

Regardless if you think the current legislation is good enough or not, the only way to make sure you weed out bad landlords is to actually enforce and prosecute.

Councils have the powers to do this already.

You can argue to the cows come home that the council is underfunded blah blah blah, but many councils already know who these LL's are and where they operate and still do nothing when its clear prosecution is available to them. The info is there already handed to them on a plate. Where tenants have made complaints they need to investigate these as priority.

It amazes me - you only have to walk round most towns and cities for example and look above shops to see questionable living conditions. All they need to do is cross reference the address to the building to see if the residential use is even permitted in the first place. Many shops only have permission for storage not living accomodation. Not like they can't look through their own planning records???
Then its a straight up enforcement and prosecution. No if, no buts.

All licencing does is hand them a ready made list of good landlords who fear getting done for not applying for the licence, not for being concerned over whether their properties comply or not. (with a huge cash injection to boot). If the LL didn't think they did, then why would you voluntarily apply and leave yourself open to huge non compliance fines? Makes no sense.

The cost of the licence is passed onto the tenant so they get shafted too. Rogue LL carries on as normal - standards not improved.

Lily

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23:08 PM, 18th June 2024, About 3 weeks ago

The issue isn't Only the license fee, but the councils abuse in dictating nonsense requirements or heavy fines if their nonsense isn't followed strictly.

I have a HMo in Camden , and they decided I mustn't rent the smaller room (as the living room is converted to living room) , even though the size of the room is well above the National minimum size. They allow to have 2 couples and one single person. And all be under one AST. Which doesn't make anyone happy: I don't want couples or 5 people in the flat, I prefer 4 singles, a single tenant doesn't want to have a room between two couples. The sharers prefer to have individual contracts and I prefer too. Tenants and I all agree a tenant shouldn't be liable to the others. Besides , obviously they prefer to be able to leave with one month notice rather than having to find a replacement. I also prefer to remove such responsibility from them and taking care of finding a suitable replacement myself. As the owner , I am better skilled to filter good and suitable applicants rather than the tenant who just want to get out of his contact.

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