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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Nottingham seeks further licensing powers (HMO)

Landlords who think they may have escaped the curse of the landlord licence, in this Parliamentary session at least need to be reminded that the Housing Act 2004 allows local authorities to introduce their own licensing regime that goes beyond the licensing arrangement for HMO properties.

We have talked before of the prospect of this legislation could be used by some councils to create licensing through the back door.

Many landlords do not realise they have an HMO.

Many landlords who have relatively small properties may not realise that under the Housing Act they indeed have a HMO property. A flat or house which is let to 3 or more tenants and form two or more households who share a bathroom and kitchen would actually constitute an HMO.

This means a couple and a single tenant sharing a house with one kitchen and bathroom would actually constitute an HMO under the legislation. The current arrangement means that there are certain caveats which means that not all HMO properties actually require a mandatory licence.

However, the Housing Act 2004 allows local authorities to extend their powers of licensing.

Nottingham City Council seeks additional HMO powers

Nottingham City Council are currently looking to use just these powers to extend their controls over many more landlords by forcing them to take up an expensive licence, currently £640.

The argument from the council is that areas of the city are suffering because of high concentrations of HMO properties. The reality is that any moves will be an attempt to place onerous conditions on any landlord about how they operate their property. Landlords wishing to register their objections to the scheme have until the 11th December to register their objections.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hillingdon Council have introduced their own licensing scheme - is this the thin end of the wedge?