Local Government North West

Extension of mandatory HMO licensing: How is your council preparing?

Samantha Watkin
Written by Samantha Watkin

The RLA has written to Cheshire East Council seeking clarification over its recent changes in HMO Licence fees for local landlords, stating that they border on irrational and unlawful.

Previously the council charged £575 for a 5-year HMO licence, which has now been replaced with a scale of fees and charges, ranging from £430 for an initial licence for smaller HMOs, through to £760 for a renewal licence for up to 5 years for the largest properties.

According to officials from Cheshire East Council, the change in fees is down to “ensuring that we can respond to the significant increase of HMOs needing a licence and safeguard those living in them, we have strengthened our resources and created additional posts”.

The letter, which can be read here , has sought clarification on the artificial deadline imposed by the council on applications which would result in landlords who apply after the 15th August 2018 being granted only a 1-year licence as opposed to a 2-year licence if they apply beforehand. This arbitrary deadline has been called unlawful by the RLA, going on to say that such proposals “have no basis in law and creates no justification for a distinction to be drawn between those who apply by that date a longer licence for those who apply after”.

It comes as councils across the country are preparing for changes to mandatory HMO licensing to come into force form 1st October this year. These changes will see much more houses of multiple occupation (that currently do not require a mandatory license) come into the scope of mandatory licensing.

Licensing is one of the topics of the agenda at our Future Renting conference taking place in London this September. Chair of London property Licensing, Richard Tacagani will discuss licensing, including these upcoming changes. To check out the unmissable line up of speakers and book your early bird ticket, head over to our conference website. 

The RLA has requested a response from Cheshire East Council before the 15th August and will keep members updated on any further developments.

Are you aware of similar practices with your local council. We would like to hear from you. Please email campaigns@rla.org.uk and send us more details, or comment beneath this article.

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Samantha Watkin

Samantha Watkin

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