Haringey Borough Council has approved plans for borough-wide additional HMO licensing, to take effect from 27th May 2019.
The plans will affect private landlords of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) that are occupied by three or four people forming two or more households.
Landlords with HMOs housing five or more people forming two or more households are already required to hold a mandatory HMO licence, following changes from 1st October 2018, which removed previous storey requirements.
The additional HMO licensing fee will cost £1,100 per property and will take a split fee approach, in line with recent case law. Landlords will face an upfront payment of £500, with the additional £600 being paid before the licence is issued. The council has confirmed that landlords who make an application before 27th May 2019 will be eligible for a discounted licence fee of £500.
The decision follows a 12-week consultation, which took place from 12th December 2017 to 5th March 2018. The council said that, by identifying landlords though issuing licences, it would be able to identify who was responsible for poor property management.
A summary of the 607 questionnaire responses from the consultation found that 77% of private tenants were in favour of additional HMO licensing, as were 45% of landlords and managing agents.
Despite a hike in rent prices or potential reduction in housing stock being the most cited reasons for not supporting the additional HMO licensing, and 51% of landlords confirming that licence fees were unreasonable, 63% of renters still felt that they were reasonable.
Councillor Emine Ibrahim notes: “This additional HMO licencing scheme will help ensure all HMOs in our borough are safe, well maintained and managed effectively. HMO landlords will now be required to licence their properties with the council, and those applying for the licence early will get a discounted fee.”
Landlords with HMOs in the borough are advised to apply for their licences by 26th May 2019, in order to qualify for the discounted fee of £500.