New mandatory HMO licensing rules fast approaching – 1st Oct

by Property 118

8:22 AM, 12th September 2018
About A year ago

New mandatory HMO licensing rules fast approaching – 1st Oct

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New mandatory HMO licensing rules fast approaching – 1st Oct

The October 1st deadline for new mandatory licensing rules of HMOs is only weeks away. There has been almost no government assistance in the form of information campaigns considering the latest .Gov website update says landlords could get an ‘unlimited’ fine for renting out an unlicensed HMO.

The old rules included a stipulation that the HMO only had to fall under mandatory licensing if the property had three or more storeys, shared by five or more people in two or more households, where facilities such as kitchen or bathroom are shared.

The new rules remove the stipulation for 3 or more stories and a property of any height that fits the other criteria above must be licensed.

It will not be possible to serve a section 21 if a property has not been properly licensed and a landlord or agent or both could face a criminal prosecution and record, an unlimited fine and an order to pay court costs and a victim surcharge.

However, the council could alternatively issue a civil penalty of up to £30,000 and a rent repayment order of up to 12 months rental income. This option would obviously be more lucrative for councils.

A guide is available from the government titled: Licensing of houses in multiple occupation in England: a guide for landlords and managers Click Here to download

This publication is aimed at landlords and managers who manage a house in multiple occupation (HMO), or if you are not sure whether you manage an HMO. The booklet explains more about HMOs, which HMOs are required to be licensed and what other if any responsibilities there are in relation to the management of HMOs.

Click Here to Apply for a House in Multiple Occupation Licence (see screenshot below)

“Restrictions

A licence is valid for a maximum of 5 years.

You must renew your licence before it runs out.

You need a separate licence for each HMO you run.

Conditions

You must make sure:

  • the house is suitable for the number of occupants (eg size and facilities)
  • the manager of the house – you or an agent – is considered to be ‘fit and proper’, eg no criminal record, or breach of landlord laws or code of practice

You must also:

  • send the council an updated gas safety certificate every year
  • install and maintain smoke alarms
  • provide safety certificates for all electrical appliances when requested

The council may add other conditions to your licence, eg improving the standard of your facilities. They will let you know when you apply.

If you disagree with any conditions the council sets, you can appeal to the First-Tier Tribunal.

You should apply for the licence yourself, but if you use a managing agent they can apply for you.

You’ll be charged a fee which is set by the council.

Fines and penalties

You could get an unlimited fine for renting out an unlicensed HMO.

More information

Read the guide for landlords and managers who manage HMOs for more information.



Comments

Sjp

10:54 AM, 12th September 2018
About A year ago

The link that you provide in the article takes you to OLD hmo licensing information ie it still mentions 3 storys.

Neil Patterson

11:44 AM, 12th September 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Sjp at 12/09/2018 - 10:54
Unfortunately, just to prove the point that is the only one they provide on the .Gov website!

Chris Daniel

17:40 PM, 12th September 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by David Lawrenson at 12/09/2018 - 09:03
David, - its not about safety, and where on earth in the UK is there Low demand for housing - No where ( If there was, the L.A's could accommodate Homeless there )
Its about the same as all other Licensing - MONEY. The Govt don't fund L.A's sufficiently and have legislated , in fact given them the right to generate income by Selective or Additional Licensing. in other words, a 'license' ( sic ) to Print money from the PRS, because lets be fair, who's gonna speak up for them.

Yvette Newbury

9:27 AM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Hello Lenin, I am also in Southwark. Your flat must be licensed under the Additional licensing scheme that has run in this borough since 2016. You will be required to install self-closing fire doors and smoke alarms according to the layout of your flat. The fire doors and smoke alarm layouts work together, so if you install mains wired smoke alarms without the fire doors now, then once the fire doors are in place you may need to put the smoke alarms in different locations.
Go to this independent site (ie. not Southwark) here for full information: https://www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/southwark and look up the Additional licensing requirements. Quoting from that site below:
"You will need an additional licence if your property is let as a House in Multiple Occupation that does not fall within the remit of the mandatory HMO licensing scheme. So licensing applies to all HMOs in Southwark. This includes all house and flat shares occupied by three of more people who are not all related, even if they occupy the property on a single tenancy. "
Your licence obtained now will expire in December 2020 but you will be charged the full 5 year fee. Installing the above in our flats costs us a few thousand per flat to do it right, using an accredited fire door installer and electrician. These provide the certificates that the Council require to be submitted to them.
Good luck!

Ajay Pamneja

10:46 AM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Zoe AM at 12/09/2018 - 08:46
Southend Council are charging £920 per property if you have 5 tenants and more if there are above 5. As at today, 14th Sep, they have not got their HMO licence application available online because they are 'updating' their website!!

Landlords can be fined, but the council have no obligation to provide the relevant information in a timely manner. It is nothing more than a money making exercise. I still do not understand why they need to charge a fee per property. You do not need a new licence for every car you drive. The license is there to ensure that you are capable of managing a property and provide safe accommodation for your tenants, so why is it needed for each property? So much BS.

Yvette Newbury

11:40 AM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Ajay Pamneja at 14/09/2018 - 10:46
"£262.65 per bedroom for the first 10 bedrooms" for the "additional" licence required for this property. 3 bed = £787.95.(https://www.southwark.gov.uk/home-owners-services/private-home-owners-and-landlords/property-licensing?chapter=5)

B4lamb

14:39 PM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Ajay Pamneja at 14/09/2018 - 10:46
Cornwall trumps Southend, they are charging £1150 per HMO property licence but if you apply before October you get an early bird discount and it's a bargain £999 ....Wow. so lets see who is more expensive than Cornwall Council.

B4lamb

14:48 PM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Ajay Pamneja at 14/09/2018 - 10:46
It's not like a driving licence which is about anindividuals capability to drive an automobile it's a licence for the property so one property may meet the requirements and is issued with a licence and another may fail say on insufficient waste and recycling storage facilities or fire safety or room size not adequate etc etc. Also it would be very unfair if a LL only owned one HMO compared to a LL owning 10 HMO's as they would both pay the same amount.

Chris Daniel

22:29 PM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by B4lamb at 14/09/2018 - 14:48So Licensing in Wales must be Unfair to everyone then ! ? as they charge £144 per landlord irrespective of how many properties you rent. Its because the Landlord is Licensed, Not the property ( or car, in the above analogy )
Lets be honest, the Govt are under funding Councils because they've screwed up the economy and have issued them the power, under the Housing Act, to 'Print money' ( make landlord pay whatever licence fees they dream up ! )
They even then granted them further powers to actually put the matter right by focusing on the worse landlords and being able to issue Civil Penalties and keep the funds. The L.A's can't even manage to do that. No Leadership or Management from MHCLG, would you believe !

B4lamb

23:51 PM, 14th September 2018
About A year ago

Reply to the comment left by Chris Daniel at 14/09/2018 - 22:29No actually the (current) licencing in Wales makes more sense as it is split into two elements. The first is that every landlord has to register so the Welsh government has a register of all landlords and then there is a licence issued to anyone who acts as a letting manager and that includes landlords that manage their own properties or letting agents like estate agents who offer this service. To obtain the licence individuals have to pay for and attend a 1 day course that they must pass or there is an online version available. So this is all about the person being suitably trained to manage rental properties not about the actual houses they let. This all seems a sensible approach. At the moment the HMO changes do not affect Wales so it will be interesting to see if Wales adopts a similar system to England.

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