Hounslow Council Consult To Extend Additional HMO Licensing Scheme
On 31st May 2019 Hounslow Council's Additional HMO licensing scheme is due to come to an end however the Council announced earlier this year that they would be consulting to extend and widen this licensing scheme for a further five years.
The current Additional licensing scheme applies to HMOs that are:
- two or more storeys high; and
- occupied by four or more unrelated tenants
The scheme also applies to Section 257 HMOs. In Hounslow an S257 HMO includes buildings that:
- have been converted in contained flats; and
- the conversion did not comply with the relevant Building Regulations in force at the time and still does not comply ; and
- all of the flats in the building are under the same ownership
The Council's proposal to widen and extend their Additional HMO licensing scheme would require all HMOs of three or more tenants, from more than one household to be licensed, regardless of the number of storeys. This extended scheme is set to run across the whole of the Hounslow borough and will continue to apply to S257 HMOs.
Improving housing standards in the Private Rental Sector and cracking down on rogue landlords are said to be the driving forces behind Hounslow Council's extension to their Additional HMO licensing scheme. Specifically, Hounslow Council are hoping their new Additional licensing scheme will tackle overcrowded properties, reduce antisocial behaviour, enforce new minimum room sizes and improve the maintenance and management of properties with the borough.
The consultation period commenced on 23rd January 2019 and ended on 3rd April 2019. The next step is for Hounslow Council to publish the results of the consultation. If the Cabinet approve Hounslow's request to extend and widen their Additional HMO licensing scheme, the scheme cannot come into force until the Council have created a scheme designation and provided three months notice. Therefore it is likely that there will be a delay between the end of Hounslow's current Additional HMO licensing scheme and the commencement of the proposed new Additional licensing scheme.
Having spoken with the Council following the end of the consultation, they hope to have a decision made within a month. HMO Service will be sure to provide an update as soon as Hounslow Council publish the consultation results.
Landlords and managing agents who fail to apply for a licence or comply with licence conditions are at risk of a fine of up to £30,000 and could face criminal prosecution. Additional enforcements include repaying up to 12 months of rent to tenants, being placed on the database for rogue landlords and agents and being banned from letting property in the future.
For more information please contact HMO Services on 020 3848 2200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.