Landlords upset over paying £315,000 HMO fees to council

by Property118.com News Team

9:56 AM, 21st July 2011
About 8 years ago

Landlords upset over paying £315,000 HMO fees to council

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Landlords upset over paying £315,000 HMO fees to council

Disgruntled landlords have paid out £315,000 fees in a year to comply with a council’s new house in multiple occupation licensing scheme.

Cardiff City Council has billed the landlords for 824 licence applications in the Cathays neighbourhood, a favourite haunt for students at the city’s universities.

The council reckons the district has 1,500 HMOs needing a licence , but has only granted 500 so far with another 320 in the pipeline.

Landlords claim the £500 HMO additional licensing fees are a money generating scheme that has no point, while the council argues licensing means better quality housing for tenants.

Douglas Haig, of Cardiff Landlords Forum, said: “Our argument is additional licensing is a fee generating exercise.

“The resources generated by additional licensing have clearly not been spent particularly wisely. It would appear the council will expand the scheme in to another district simply to increase revenue to keep the scheme going.”

Landlords would prefer the fees to finance a benchmark HMO standard rather than just end up in a pool with other council spending.

The fees are paid by owners of small HMOs with three to five tenants.

A council spokesman said: “Landlords with four or five students in a property make more than £60,000 over five years, so to ask for £500 to make sure the property is up to standard is not a lot.

“We’re checking fire safety and ensuring that gas and electricity certificates are up to date.”

Meanwhile, Bath and North East Somerset Council is ploughing £45,000 in to a report looking at whether to implement planning permission for all HMOs.

If the report recommends tighter HMO controls, the council will start consultation for Article 4 Direction under the Town and Country Planning Act to run from the end of 2012.

The direction requires landlords to apply for planning permission to convert family homes to HMOs.



Comments

13:29 PM, 21st July 2011
About 8 years ago

What a clever money generating scheme. Next, how about a licence to let to a family with more than 2.4 children. What about a licence to let to unmarried couples? How about a licence to let a property with a garden to check for safety hazards such as wet grass and wonky fence panels? The possiblities are endless. If councils really apply themselves they can stop charging council tax and just get their income from landlords!
Seriously though - the licence is only valid if the council guarantee they can wipeout rogue landlords because the money is ploughed back into monitoring lettings. If the money is just absorbed into a general pot there will be no improvement for vulnerable tenants! As ever decent business people pay to ensure they operate within the law and the rogues just slip through the net regardless

20:25 PM, 29th July 2011
About 8 years ago

Blackburn with Darwin Borough Council have a licensing scheme.
We have to pay £100 pa. its a rip off
We asked what we gained as landlords the answer nothing
It's supposed to make us better landlords
What a joke!!!!!!
Its' time someone stopped it.

20:33 PM, 29th July 2011
About 8 years ago

Yes I know what you mean Steve. My brother and I own a few flats in the Manchester area and an similar extortion racket by the Councils goes on there too.


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