After an informal consultation earlier this year, the London Borough of Havering has taken the decision to start a consultation on two additional licensing proposals. They are looking for the opinions of landlords, residents, tenants, and any other interested parties on the consultation that ends 28th July 2017.
The two proposals that the Havering are asking for opinions on are;
- An HMO Additional Licensing scheme covering 12 wards; or
- An HMO Additional Licensing scheme covering 4 wards
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.
The full details of both proposals can be found here.
Option 1 would cover HMOs in the wards of Brooklands, Mawneys, Elm Park, Pettits, Gooshays, Rainham & Wennington, Harold Wood, Romford Town, Havering Park, South Hornchurch, Heaton and Squirrels Heath.
Option 2 would cover the wards of Brooklands, Gooshays, Heaton and Romford Town. These wards have the highest numbers of HMOs out of the 12 wards that have been considered by Havering.
Havering state its reasons for considering an Additional licensing scheme is to:
- Address the significant problems of anti-social behaviour associated with the privately rented HMOs, by making landlords more accountable for the management of their properties and the behaviour of their tenants.
- Improve the standards of HMO accommodation and prevent overcrowding.
- Implement an inspection programme to identify premises where action is needed.
- Address the inequality that exists currently with the mandatory HMO licensing regime by removing the loopholes that enable landlords to avoid licensing altogether. A number of landlords currently only convert properties with less than three storeys into HMOs or limit the number of tenants in a 3 storey HMO to no more than 4 (even if this means one or more rooms remain vacant). A requirement for all HMOs to be licensed would remove this inequality and maximise the use of existing HMOs.
- Improve the management practices within HMOs by ensuring only fit and proper landlords or managers are granted licenses and through promoting landlord accreditation.
Following a successful licensing consultation, the London Borough have suggested the following fee structure:
Option 1 – £900 (£675 for licence processing and £225 for enforcement)
Option 2 – £1180 (£950 for licence processing and £230 for enforcement)
The Council are hosting a number of drop in sessions where council officers will be available to answer any questions about the scheme.
|Tuesday 6th June||10.15am-1pm||Harold Hill Library meeting Room|
|Wednesday 14th June||10.15am-1pm||South Hornchurch Library|
|Tuesday 27th June||10.15am-1pm||Romford Library first floor meeting room|
|Monday 3rd July||3.45pm-7.00pm||Romford Library first floor meeting Room|
|Wednesday 12th July||10.15am-1.00pm||Harold Hill Library meeting room|
|Thursday 20th July||4.15pm-7.00pm||Romford Library first floor meeting room|
We urge our members to attend these events and get their views heard directly by representatives of the Council.
General enquirers about this consultation should be directed towards the council, which can be contacted on phone: 01708 434116 and email: email@example.com .
The RLA will be replying to the consultation apposing the scheme, however we recommend our members send in an official response too. To see our reply to other consultations including the informal consultation Havering held, visit the CNC page here.