Newham Council, Licensing and Planning

by Readers Question

17:40 PM, 28th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Newham Council, Licensing and Planning

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Newham Council, Licensing and Planning

As mentioned on a previous thread I got an outrageous fine and increase in license cost from Newham Council, however I paid it and I had to pay £500 for the license and a further £300 fine. Instead of a 5 year license they issued me a 1 year, so now I have to pay £500 every year! It’s going to end up costing me £2,800 to be licenced for 5 years as opposed to £500. It is a HMO license so I also had to adhere to many requirements to change my house. 

Landlord Licencing scheme debate - Mark Alexander and the Mayor of Newham

Look how happy Mark Alexander was when debate organisers sat him next to Sir Robin Wales of Newham as he first revealed his landlord licencing plans. What do you think this caption should read?

That is only the start of it, 10 months later (this week) after changing my property to adhere to the HMO license and changing my mortgage to suit, the planning team came out and said I have to revert the house to a family home. Therefore losing my income and kicking out my tenants! They said although I have a license I also need planning, and said they don’t talk to licensing dept which is why they never asked me for it. So nobody told me this, they even came out and visited the place 6 months ago and said it was fine.

I am tied in with a 5 year HMO mortgage.

In parallel to this Newman Licensing have audited me and have been aggressively chasing information on property inspections etc. and sending me so many threatening letters. I use an agency and all above board so they have all the info they require, I had to call them up and show them the emails I sent before they backed off.

However it is now the planning dept that I am having the issue with and I do not want to let them get away with this, is there anything I can do?

Thanks in Advance.

Anthony



Comments

Shakeel Ahmad

11:33 AM, 29th April 2015
About 4 years ago

All Councils are parasites. What do you expected when the head of the Council earns more than the prime minister with NO accountability.

Laurie Hughes

11:40 AM, 29th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Anthony

How many tenants occupy the property? I only need to involve planning when the property houses more than 6 tenants. 6 and under does not require planning permission but of course will require a license to comply with your local HMO regs.

A S

11:54 AM, 29th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Hi Laurie

I have an HMO license for up to 7 people and there are only 3 tenants in the property at the moment. But Newham council introduced article 4 which means they will not be granting planning for anymore HMO excuse is to protect the family dwellings. So they are demanding under the town and county planning act that I remove all locks mattresses and convert it back to a family home with a swingle dwelling.

Why they are going after the people that are already licensed and have paid for the license and adhered to all the rules is beyond me.

Joe Bloggs

12:18 PM, 29th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Anthony Sweeney" at "29/04/2015 - 11:54":

Q - 'Why they are going after the people that are already licensed and have paid for the license and adhered to all the rules is beyond me.'

A - because they have the paper trail from your HMO licence which they can cross check with planning database. as the ARTICLE 4 DIRECTION came in after the licensing regime, those who applied for an HMO licence originally have an ESTABLISHED USE, so cant be prosecuted for breaching the article 4 direction.

A S

12:37 PM, 29th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Thanks for the info Joe.

So If I got my license in May 2104 after article 4 came in I am breaching planning? I have been letting out multiple rooms since 2012 does that count for established use?

Thanks

Industry Observer

13:16 PM, 29th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Local Authorities have wide discretion to apply local rules to licensing applications, section 90 Housing Act 2004:-

"A licence may include such conditions as the local housing authority consider appropriate for regulating the management, use or occupation of the house concerned."

I have heard of cases where the LA requires a full NIC certificate every 3 years or even every 2 (as opposed to the 5 it lasts for) but Is making the licence renewable annually "appropriate"?

Surely if you are as squeaky clean as you say and through your agent then this is unreasonabe and could be challenged at a Tribunal?

Joe Bloggs

13:23 PM, 29th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Anthony Sweeney" at "29/04/2015 - 12:37":

youre welcome.
if you have evidence that the property was occupied by 3 or more unrelated persons prior to the article 4 direction being introduced then you may well prove an established use. of course had you got the appropriate licence at the right time then this would have saved you a lot of grief.

A S

13:44 PM, 29th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Yes the licensing issue is one thing and the audit I believe was done because I missed the deadline for the initial license. I may well get a longer license on renewal but this is in no means set in stone. (according to the council)

However, if I have to convert the home to a single dwelling the above is irrelevant as I would not renew my license. In answer to your statement above Joe, I do have proof as I used an agency for 3 years and have all that info to prove it.

Rod

16:22 PM, 29th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Anthony Sweeney" at "29/04/2015 - 13:44":

All count yourselves lucky! Our wonderful council is bringing in licensing for all properties, not just HMO! £500 fee for the privilege of being fined up to -wait for it- £20,000 for breach of regs PLUS -wait for it- that also includes a tenants antisocial behaviour!!! I've already had dealings with this council and they have ALL been bad. They're are a law unto themselves and I feel they WANT regs to be breached so they're able to dish out hefty fines PLUS -wait for it- we now have to pay FULL council tax on an empty property PLUS 50 per cent on top if empty more than 6 months! Is it all worth it £95 p.w. income? Now where did I leave GUY FAWKES'S phone number???

Rod

16:39 PM, 29th April 2015
About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Jack Ass" at "29/04/2015 - 16:22":

Re previous comment. Jack didn't write it. I did. Do know how that happened!

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