Expensive Licensing Scheme On The Way
Additional expensive licensing scheme for HMOs are becoming increasingly common. Local councils are putting these schemes in place, and they can create a big cost for landlords. The latest council to consider bringing one in is Sandwell Council.
Sandwell Council is currently discussing plans for a new scheme to expand license requirements to all HMOs, regardless of the number of occupants. This would mean that any landlord of HMOs in Central West Bromwich could face another cost to keep renting out their property. However, this will only apply to properties that aren’t already licensed.
In other words, if you own an HMO and are currently exempt from needing a HMO license, then that is going to change. This includes HMOs with fewer than five tenants and HMOs that are more than one-third empty.
Why Are These Schemes So Popular?
Additional licensing on landlords are popular with the public. Proponents of the schemes sell them as a way to improve standards and to clamp down on dodgy landlords. The council’s open consultations returned a 77% approval rating for the proposal.
From the perspective of a landlord, they can be very good ways of generating revenue. However you feel about them, they seem here to stay. So you need to make sure you are prepared.
What’s Involved in Getting a License
In order to get a license, you will need to have a wide range of paperwork to show that your property is safe and well maintained. The documents and certificates you need to provide include:
- Fire Alarm Certificate
- Electrical Installation Certificate
- Fire Risk Assessment
- Emergency Lighting Certificate
- Gas Certificate
- Floor Plans
- PAT Testing (if applicable)
Once you have these documents, there is an online form to complete, which should take around 30-40 minutes to complete. Then, of course, there is the fee. The cost of a new license is £850. If you are renewing your license before it expires, that price drops to £650.
There are discounts for landlords who own multiple properties. There are also discounts for being a member of local or national landlord associations.
It’s important to note that there is a fee for submitting an incomplete form. If your form does not have all the required information, you will be charged an extra £100. So, it’s well worth preparing early and making sure that you have all the relevant certificates.
What’s The Timeline?
The new scheme comes into effect from April 2022. There is a three month grace period. So that means landlords have until July 2022 to get everything in order and to submit their applications. Properties that are already covered by existing licensing schemes should be exempt, but if you are in any doubt, it is worth double-checking.
If you own property and now need more paperwork, Assessment Hive can help. We can manage the certificates and tests you need and ensure that your paperwork is in order. Get the ball rolling today by getting in touch with our team.