From the 5th June landlords in Hammersmith and Fulham now have two new licensing schemes to comply with.
After a consultation period the London Borough have decided to go ahead with the implementation of both selective and additional licensing schemes.
Selective Licensing was introduced under the Housing Act 2004. The Housing Act 2004 says that before introducing selective licensing to any area local Councils must consult with all affected people, such as tenants, residents, landlords, managing agents, businesses, Police, Fire Service, local Councillors etc.
Selective Licensing applies to all private rented sector houses that are not licensed under HMO licensing, this includes non licensable HMOs. An area may be designated for selective licensing either (i) if the area is (or is likely to be) an area of low housing demand or (ii) the area is experiencing a significant and persistent problem caused by anti social behaviour that local authorities attribute to private sector landlords failing to take action to combat against unruly tenants. A designation can last up to five years.
Alongside the licence fees, landlords will also have to declare that they are a fit and proper person to hold a licence and holders of the licence will be required to comply with licensing conditions, some of which are mandatorily imposed by the Housing Act, and local licensing conditions from the council itself.
The streets that are subject to selective licensing can be found here.
All houses of multiple occupations (HMOs) which are 3 stories and above, house 5 or more people (not from the same family), and share facilities legally require a Mandatory HMO Licence. The introduction of an Additional Licensing scheme covers the HMO properties that are not covered by this licence. This licence requires a landlord and their property to meet specific standards including whether a landlord is ‘fit and proper’ to be a landlord. Additional licenses last up to 5 years.
Hammersmith & Fulham Council have included ‘section 257 HMOs’ within the additional licensing scheme. These are properties that:
a) have been converted into self-contained flats; and
b) less than two thirds of the flats are owner occupied; and
c) the conversion did not comply with the relevant Building Regulations in force at that time and still does not comply.
If you are unsure whether or not your property falls into the categories mentioned and will need to be licensed, please contact The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham directly.
An additional and/or selective five year licence costs £540 per property.
There is a discount of £50 if you have signed up to the landlord rental charter. You can sign up to this as part of the application process.
There’s a £75 discount if you are a member of an accredited landlord body , this includes The RLA.
Only one discount is applied per licence.
These fees are a legitimate business expense and therefore tax deductible.
To see the full details of the licensing schemes, to read the conditions, and to apply visit Hammersmith and Fulham’s website here.