Southend council HMO licensing debacleMake Text Bigger
I had paid the Southend council’s HMO license fee of £920 per property and filled in their paper application (hand written) in Sep 2018. Both of my properties are standard 2 floor properties with 5 tenants in each. They have been inspected by the council in the past and maintained to good standards.
When the applications were due, they did not even have a website page ready for the requirements and now I have been sent a link this week (after my chasing to them) of all their new requirements not mentioned before, which seems a bit over the top for standard houses (not multi floors, etc).
You can see their letter my comments and annoyance in the responses to them on Monday below:
Housing Act 2004
The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation (Additional Provisions) (England) Regulations 2007
Re: Licence for House in Multiple Occupation at:
I write with regards to the application for an HMO licence received by this office. At this point, the Council considers the application to be invalid because it is incomplete and/or incorrect for the following reasons:
- To Scale or to Proportion Floor Plans of Premises
- Up to Date Copy of Automatic Fire Detection inspection and test certificate(s)
- Up to Date Copy of Emergency Lighting inspection and test certificate(s)
- A copy of the most recent signed Tenancy Agreement used at the property
- A copy of the Domestic Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for the entire HMO AND an EPC for each self-contained flat within
- Up to Date Copy of portable Appliance Testing (PAT) certificates
- A copy of the Fire Risk Assessment
- A copy of relevant insurance Certificate
You should make arrangements to for the above to be supplied to the Private Sector Housing as soon as possible.
If you require further advice on how to correctly complete your application contact me at your earliest convenience on the above number or email.
It is the licence holder’s responsibility to ensure that a valid application including fee and supporting documents is submitted to ensure there is no period where the property does not hold a licence.
The Council has powers and duties to act should the licence fail to be applied for. Should you continue to operate the licensable HMO but fail to make a valid application and fee within a reasonable period this would constitute an offence punishable by prosecution through the courts with a maximum fine of £20,000. Where licence holders fail to apply, the Council also has powers to serve an Interim Management Order (IMO) where the Council can take control of the property, tenancy agreements and rent. You should therefore ensure your application is made valid as soon as possible.
Private Sector Housing Enforcement Support Officer
I had submitted 2 HMO License applications in Sep 2018 for my properties in (number 64) and (number 30). The appropriate fee was also paid.
Can you please confirm that they are still being processed and I should have my relevant paperwork soon?
Please see the attached letter requesting the documentation required to process your HMO license applications
Please note that the Electric Safety Certificate and Gas Safety certificates were provided with the application. The property is let out on Rooms Only basis – so please clarify, if I require an EPC. I can arrange a floor plan soon. I do not have the last 2 items at present. Can you please confirm the criteria for the requirement of these two as one of them clearly states ‘If Applicable’?
The letter states that the EPC is required if applicable. Some HMO’s have an EPC and some don’t. If you haven’t got one and you pay the utility bills then that’s fine, just advise that you don’t have one.
The same as above applies to emergency lighting, some HMO’s require this and some don’t. This depends on the layout of the property but if you don’t have one just advise as much.
You will need a fire safety certificate though.
The below email was sent to you in relation to your license applications and no response has been received by this Office.
Your applications have not been processed any further and the HMO’s remain unlicensed.
Please refer to our website for further information relating to licensing HMO’s.
Please note that I pay the utility bills at both the properties, hence the EPCs are not relevant. I do not believe that anything else is still outstanding. If a Fire Safety Certificate is required for 2 floors, then I will organise this.
I am attaching a layout plan for 64, which was one of the requirements.
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