Licence Fees – Should I only pay an inflation linked increase?

Licence Fees – Should I only pay an inflation linked increase?

by Readers Question

Guest Author

11:02 AM, 16th April 2021, About 3 years ago 16

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Hi Everyone, I am an HMO landlord for many years in Leicester. The local Authority who does a very good job and is very helpful in my opinion has increased the HMO fees for a licence from £650 in 2016 to £900 currently.

This seems a very large increase, therefore, seeking advice. If I refuse to pay this amount and only pay an inflation-linked increase what are the consequences and repercussions?

I did write to the Council explaining that the fees seem very high, their reply was:

The Housing Act 2004 makes provision for local authorities to charge a fee for a mandatory HMO licence.
The HMO licence fee has been set at £900 and a licence is issued for 5 years.
The fee is calculated based on the number of hours of officer time each element of the licence application takes.
The licence fee can be broken down into 3 parts:
£150 – Receipt and processing of licence application
£505 – Inspection and preparation of proposed and final licence
£245 – Licence monitoring and compliance over the 5 year period.

I am expecting to end in Magistrates Court and lose, however, will appeal and end in Crown Court where common sense should prevail.
Has anyone experience of this or any cases they are aware off?

Further, what costs am I liable should I lose?

Any advice will be useful


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Neil Patterson

11:05 AM, 16th April 2021, About 3 years ago

I would not make any firm decisions before contacting landlord Licensing and Defence >>

Freda Blogs

11:42 AM, 16th April 2021, About 3 years ago

If you don't pay, presumably you won't get the licence and the consequences of that are likely to be significant.

Whilst I can understand your annoyance at the rise in fees of £250, that sum over 5 years is around £1 a week. Is it really worth fighting?

Des Taylor & Phil Turtle, Landlord Licensing & Defence

11:54 AM, 16th April 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Neil Patterson at 16/04/2021 - 11:05
Unfair though it is, consider what happens when you decide to only pay "part" of your Car Road Tax. Your car is deemed NOT TAXED and you will get a massive fine and points on your licence for an untaxed vehicle.

Housing licensing is a TAX - that is why the penalties are usually £12,000-£25,000 for not having a valid licence.

Not only that the councils 'know' that anyone how doesn't licence their property is a criminal and will have other things wrong that they can further issue massive fines for. Expect at leat £50,000 in fines.

Its the same as if the cops stop you for no tax, then they check your tyres, lights etc. etc. they will always find "extras".

Final word. Individual landlords are not BIG enough to fight the state. Fail to pay your "TAX" and you put yourself on the wanted list and then need our services to help you sort to the ensuing mess.


11:54 AM, 16th April 2021, About 3 years ago

I presume you haven’t had a licence before that you are renewing ? So what relevance is the previous price ?

Bernard Christopher

12:37 PM, 16th April 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Des Taylor & Phil Turtle, Landlord Licensing & Defence at 16/04/2021 - 11:54
I am a HMO licensing officer and this price increase is reflected in time spent on each licence. From Proposed to actual issue of licence. Lots of time spent on application, certificates and inspections. Some properties require several visits to ensure compliance is adhered to. Background working with fire service, building control and planning departments. If starting from scratch then the period of time can be 2-3 months until licence is actually issued and then regular/annual inspections over 5 year period. Also worth you knowing, Local Authorities cannot make make a profit on licensing. They are not allowed to. So in a nutshell a lot of work goes on in the background with your properties and licensing. Besides when you renew your licence is a different price with the same work committed to your licence. Failure to have a HMO licence is a Criminal offence and enforcement action will be served.

terry sullivan

12:44 PM, 16th April 2021, About 3 years ago

price is meant yto reflect council costs only?

terry sullivan

13:24 PM, 16th April 2021, About 3 years ago

what haappened re kingston case?

Judith Wordsworth

14:58 PM, 16th April 2021, About 3 years ago

It's tax deductible. If you don't pay it you won't be licensed

Bernard Christopher

15:27 PM, 16th April 2021, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by terry sullivan at 16/04/2021 - 12:44
Councils response provided in original post is pretty much standard. ‘Some’ LA’s recruit officers to the post and therefore making the post specifically funded to generate HMO costs solely. Other officers are permanent and will generate costs through housing enforcement via dodgy landlords, improvement notices issued etc. Some LA’s don’t have the capacity to take on LL’s regarding EPC’s etc. These are currently enforced with Trading Standards and soon to be passed to LA’s along with The Tenant Fees Act. Some Councils are Progressive and some are not. Some have Artcile 4/Selective Licensing and some don’t. There is changes to come where it will require LA’s to be more proactive. If you don’t see it currently then you will.

Bernard Christopher

15:59 PM, 16th April 2021, About 3 years ago

Food for thought- if you don’t have a HMO licence then you leave yourself liable for Rent Repayment Orders via Tribunal for each tenant. If they are successful then you are liable for additional monies paid out including compensation.

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