Should I sell or risk tenants buying at undervalue price?9:08 AM, 25th September 2019
About 3 weeks ago 48
I have just received an email from Bristol City Council regarding my recent license application for one of my HMOs and I also just paid them £1050.00 for the pleasure.
I list here the accompanying 37 conditions (yes really 37 of them) I have to follow. I really think whoever wrote these conditions has no experience of actually being a landlord.
For sure I’m putting up rents if I have to follow all these conditions. At first glance I can see all sorts of problems with at least 10 of them.
West of England – Bristol City Council’s
Houses in Multiple Occupation – Licence Conditions
Property (HMO): XX XXXX Road, Southville, Bristol, BS3 XXX
The licence holder and/or manager:
1. Must, if gas is supplied to the house, produce to the Council, annually, for their inspection a satisfactory gas safety certificate obtained in respect of the house within the last 12 months.
2. Must keep electrical appliances and furniture made available in the house in a safe condition and must supply to the Council, on demand a written declaration verifying the safety of the appliances and furniture.
3. Must supply to the occupiers of the house a written statement of the terms on which they occupy it.
4. Must request a reference for each new person wishing to occupy the house. The reference request should include questions about anti-social behaviour, acting in a non-tenant like manner and any problems in respect of non-payment of rent. References must be retained for a minimum of 6 months from the issuing of the licence and must supply to the Council on demand.
5. Must provide, on request from other landlords an honest, factual and accurate written reference relating to existing or past occupiers.
6. Must issue new tenants/occupiers with a tenancy/written agreement that include clauses that will allow the licence holder to take reasonable steps to tackle anti-social behaviour.
7. Must have facilities, such as a telephone number, email address or postal address, to receive and respond to initial complaints about the behaviour of tenants or their visitors.
8. Must take all reasonable steps to deal with anti-social behaviour perpetrated by occupiers and/or visitors to the property.
9. Must take all reasonable steps to ensure that the property is not used for illegal or immoral purposes.
10. Must complete the West of England Landlord Development Programme or otherwise have evidence of successfully completing equivalent training by a recognised landlord association on demand.
11. Must ensure that the property is inspected on a regular basis to assess if there is evidence of anti-social behaviour ; this should be at least quarterly, but more frequently if anti-social behaviour has been established.
12. Must take all reasonable steps to keep the exterior of the property free from graffiti and fly posters.
13. Must ensure that tenants have 24hrs direct access to all toilet, personal washing and cooking facilities and equipment.
14. Must ensure that there is no obligate sharing of bedrooms.
15. Must supply to the Council on demand the names of all occupants.
16. Must ensure that the West of England Code of Good Management Practice is to be complied with and a copy is to be permanently displayed so as to be visible to all tenants.
17. Must ensure any person involved in, or becoming involved in the management of the property after the licence date must be a fit and proper person and must supply the Council on demand with a completed declaration in respect of a fit and proper person’ form for each person.
18. Must notify the Council in writing of any change to the name, address or any other contact details (including email address) of the licence holder, manager or any other person involved in the management of the property, within 14 days of that change.
19. Must comply with the Bristol City Council ‘Room Size & Amenity Standards for Licensable HMOs’ and ‘Fire Safety Standards for Licensable HMOs’ documents. These documents may be updated during the term of the licence and it is the responsibility of the licence holder and/or manager to ensure that they are aware of, and are complying with the latest versions. The latest versions of these documents can be found at www.bristol.gov.uk/hmo.
20. Must ensure that the property is managed in such a way that it is maintained in good repair. Facilities and equipment must be kept in a safe condition and good working order. Worn or dangerous furniture or fittings must be replaced.
21. Must supply to the Council, where applicable, a current Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on demand.
22. Must comply with the minimum level of energy efficiency for privately rented property required under The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property)(England and Wales) Regulations 2015. From April 2018, landlords of privately rented property in England or Wales must ensure that their properties reach at least an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of E before granting a new tenancy to new or existing tenants. From 1 April 2020 these requirements will then apply to all private rented properties, all subject to any exemptions from this regulations.
23. Must meet current statutory requirements for electrical installation and supply to the Council, on demand a current (less than 5 years old) electrical installation condition report. Any category 1 or 2 defects in a report must be rectified. On the expiry of a report, a new report must be obtained and supplied to the Council within 2 months of the previous report’s expiry date.
24. Must, where there is an existing fire alarm system, supply to the Council on demand a satisfactory certificate of inspection and testing as required under BS 5839-6: 2013.
25. Must ensure that a smoke alarm is installed on each storey of the house on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation and to keep any such alarm in proper working order.
26. Where there is a new tenancy these alarms must be checked on the day the tenancy begins and supply on demand a declaration of the condition and positioning of any such alarms.
27. Must ensure that a carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room (includes a hall or landing) in the property which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation (includes bathroom or lavatory) and contains a solid fuel burning combustion appliance, and to keep any such alarm in proper working order. The alarms must be checked on the day the tenancy begins if it is a new tenancy and supply on demand a declaration of the condition and positioning of any such alarms.
Note – Solid fuel includes coal, wood, etc. A non-functioning, purely decorative fireplace would not constitute a solid fuel burning combustion appliance.
28. Must provide to the Council, on demand a declaration that the lighting system is in proper working order. Emergency lighting to be maintained in accordance with the relevant British Standard (BS5266: Part 1: 2005).
29. Must, where the LACoRS “Housing – Fire Safety, Guidance on fire safety provisions for certain types of existing housing” has been used to determine fire precautions, review the precautions annually or whenever there are alterations to the property or its contents or at changes of tenancy; to ensure the fire precautions are appropriate to the risk, written evidence of any review to be supplied on demand
30. Must provide written details of fire evacuation procedures to tenants/occupiers. Ensure that all tenants/occupiers are aware of fire and fault indications of the fire alarm system and are adequately familiar with controls (e.g. resetting). They must also be made aware of measures to avoid false alarms. These details must be supplied on demand.
31. Must, where food is provided, ensure food handlers have appropriate food safety training.
32. Must ensure that the layout of the property, including any numbering of rooms is not altered without first gaining written permission from the Council. Requests to alter the layout should be made in writing to Licensing Team, Private Housing, Bristol City Council and include a full description of the proposed changes.
33. Must ensure that the property is occupied in accordance with, and by no more than the number of persons and households specified in the licence.
34. Must, if the occupation of the property is in excess of the maximum permitted number, inform the Licensing Team, Private Housing, Bristol City Council in writing within 28 days of the over occupation occurring.
35. Must, if any proposed changes to the mode of occupation be submitted to the Licensing Team, Private Housing, Bristol City Council to determine if any changes to the conditions and the permitted number are needed.
36. Must provide suitable facilities for the storage and disposal of refuse and recycling in accordance with the Council’s waste and recycling collection requirements.
37. Must ensure that their name, address, any telephone contact number or email address are made available to each household and such details are clearly displayed in a prominent position in the property.
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