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Welcome to day 2 of "HMO Compliance Week" 2018.New legislation for HMOs comes into effect on the 1st October 2018 so we are counting down to that.To give the all-important detail on this topic, Property Tribes has teamed up with HMO legal expert David Smith of Anthony Gold Solicitors to create a raft of video content to educate HMO landlords as to their legal responsibilities.Today David covers off the new legislation concerning minimum room sizes:
In the video below in the "Now watch" section David gives some insights into understanding licensing fees.Here is how the week is shaping up:Monday - Launch of HMO Week - overview of changes/how to find informationTuesday - Minimum room sizes/understanding licensing feesWednesday - Mandatory licensing changesThursday - Understanding management regulations/Rent to Rent HMO issuesFriday - Who is responsible and when to apply for a licence/consequences of non-complianceThe week is being powered by our legal partner, Anthony Gold Solicitors, where David Smith is a partner and Property Tribes would like to thank David for being our presenter.Please join us all this week for expert insight into being a compliant HMO landlord!SEE ALSO - New HMO Regs and room sizesUP NEXT - Ideas for redundant rooms in HMOs DON'T MISS - Self contained rooms in HMO'sNOW WATCH:
Vanessa Warwick Landlord and Co-Founder of PropertyTribes.com **If you have got value from Property Tribes, find out how you can support it in remaining a free to use community resource**
Very useful thank you.
Thanks Sharron. It would be great if you could share this on your social media channels to help create awareness outside of Property Tribes.
Are Anthony Gold going to take instructions challenging overcharging for licences? Is this best dealt with at first tier tribunal?
I have paid nearly £10k and I have put the LA on notice in light of the recent dictum.
We will certainly look at cases. It may be possible to challenge fees in the tribunal but it will depend on where you are in the process.The Gaskin case is not an absolute statement on the fee issue and there may be ways to work around it.In addition, not every local authority charges for enforcement at the moment
thanks. I will send you an email.
David / Vanessa
Can I ask you about the comparison between England and Scotland / Wales, in relation to smaller (non-mandatory licensing) HMOs / Selective Licensing.
If I am licensing a portfolio of houses in an English Council, say Nottingham, the cost is significantly higher than Scotland / Wales.
Ignoring discounts, in Nottingham licensing 20 houses will be costing approx £780 * 20 = £16,600 for 5 years. Obviously, when such Brobdingnagian fees are imposed on 90% of rented property in a city, rents will rise and the tenants will be stiffed by the local authority.
In Scotland, if i am correct, such a portfolio would cost £55 for the LA plus £11 per property, that is £275 per 3 years.
I have been trying to find a good reason for this discrepancy for the best part of a decade. Is this true, or what am I missing?
@dsns, it may be one for a separate thread wrt the current consultation in England. My view (I think) is that we need a national "Fit and Proper" register, checks on property via professionals not councils having something like a 3 yearly "fit to rent" certificate, and maybe a regional register of properties.
The current system is absurd eg in the gold-plating of licensing schemes, comprehensive uselessness of LAs, and duplication ... eg I think there are also requirements to repeat the same training in different places.
The comparison between England and Scotland is not really valid. England has totally different licensing requirements and the property portfolio is entirely different. So local authorities in England are dealing with entirely different issues and obligations.
Your fee calculation is also wrong. Your figure for Scotland is the cost to join a landlord registration scheme. The fees for HMO licensing in Scotland are considerably higher. In Glasgow, for example, an HMO licence for a property with up to 10 people costs £1906. So Nottingham's fees sound ok in that context.
Your real question is about the very different regulatory approaches in the different jurisdictions. Scotland has very light touch landlord registration. Wales has much more interventionist landlord licensing with training requirements and a code of practice. England has neither.
In summary, therefore, in terms of cost all of the regions are winding up at not dissimilar figures but the regulatory approach is totally different.
Hi David/Vanessa thanks for the video. The minimum bedroom room size in my borough is 9m2. I have 3 bedrooms that are bigger than this, and 2 bedrooms that are smaller than this - although they are bigger than the national standard of 6.52m2. My property meets the criteria of a licencable HMO in every other aspect. In your opinion what are the chances the council will tell me that I cannot rent the 2 smaller bedrooms? If they did say that, could I take them to a tribunal and win as the bedroom sizes are bigger than 6.52m2?Thanks so much!
LANDLORDS WELCOME NEW ROOM SIZE GUIDANCELANDLORDS are today welcoming new guidance for councils on room sizes in rented homes.The guidance addresses concerns raised by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) that recent changes to room size regulations could have led to landlords being in breach of the law where a pregnant tenant gave birth.Since October this year, rooms used for sleeping by one person over 10-years-old have had to be at least 6.51 square metres, and those slept in by two people over 10-years-old will have had to at least 10.22 square metres. Rooms slept in by children of 10 years and younger have had to be at least 4.64 square metres.Whilst the RLA believes that tenants should never face the dangers of overcrowded accommodation, it was concerned that the changes could have seen councils required to take action against landlords where a tenant gave birth and as a result there were two people in a room sized for one. A landlord who sought to evict in this scenario would be carrying out unlawful discrimination.Following extensive discussions with the Government, newly published guidance makes clear that this will not happen. It notes that in instances where a tenant has given birth to a child since moving into a House of Multiple Occupation (HMO), that there is an expectation that local authorities will not be acting in the public interest if they commence a prosecution.David Smith, Policy Director for the RLA said:
“We warmly welcome this new guidance. It reflects considerable work between the RLA and the Government in addressing serious concerns about the consequences of the room size changes.
“The Government has clearly listened to our concerns and this document should provide much greater assurances to landlords and tenants alike.”