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

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

11:02 AM, 16th April 2021, About 8 months 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

Dhirajlal



Comments

by Peter G

23:26 PM, 16th April 2021, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Bernard Christopher at 16/04/2021 - 12:37
Is it the same amount of work to Renew a License as it is to apply for a New licence? I can understand new licences take a lot of work, but if monitoring HAS been going on during the 5 years prior to renewal then surely the Renewal process will be much quicker and the cost should be much less. Am I missing something?

by Jessie Jones

8:45 AM, 17th April 2021, About 8 months ago

It would indeed be foolish to put yourself in a position where you have an unlicensed property.
However, the cost of a licence is ultimately determined by your councillors who are due for re-election shortly.
Now is a good time for some lobbying of your councillors, and perhaps even a street-by-street leaflet drop, explaining to residents that the reason rent is increasing in their area is because of the increased costs of council bureaucracy, and that they may wish to consider who they vote for.

by Trapped Landlord

10:41 AM, 17th April 2021, About 8 months ago

Pay the fee, pass it on to the tenant, inform the tenant that they only have their local council to blame for it.

by Trapped Landlord

10:50 AM, 17th April 2021, About 8 months ago

This all just boils down to the same old thing, MONEY. So keep passing this, along with the never ending bureaucratic interference from Local Authorities and the so called Tory Government on to the tenants in the form of rent increases.

by moneymanager

14:05 PM, 17th April 2021, About 8 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Bernard Christopher at 16/04/2021 - 12:37
"Also worth you knowing, Local Authorities cannot make make a profit on licensing. They are not allowed to."

That's all very well as LAs aren't there to be a "profit centre" at all but to deliver services to the public, the problem though is "cost inflation" from the Chief Execeutive's eye-wateringly excessive salarys right through to a pension scheme the structure of which would be beyond the dreams of just about anyone in the private sector; to quote an old joke of a question posed by a businessman to his accountant, "What's my profit?", "What do you want it to be?". Profit isn't a science it's an art.

by Bristol Landlord

16:10 PM, 17th April 2021, About 8 months ago

Dhirajlal, I agree that the increase is unfair and unjustified but I don’t believe for one moment it is worth the time, expense and increased blood pressure to go to court over this. Your problems and legal expenses will only increase as the LA will have virtually unlimited resources to fight you, it will become a quagmire for you.
Much smarter to simply view the license fee as a cost of doing business and pass the cost on to the tenants.


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