Local landlords alerted to property licensing changes

Local landlords who manage houses in multiple occupation are being alerted to important changes in licensing, by Amber Valley Borough Council.

From 1st October 2018 all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s) with 5 or more occupiers living as 2 or more households, must have applied for an HMO Licence from their local authority.

The Government have introduced this change to widen out the scope from the previous licensing regime, which only applied to properties of three storeys or above.  A legal minimum rooms size has also been included in mandatory licence conditions.

When assessing a licence application, the local authority will consider the suitability and condition of the building for the number of proposed occupiers, as well as the suitability of the proposed licence holder.  Applicants will need to demonstrate that fire safety arrangements are in place and adequate, and that the building has sufficient space and amenities.

In response to the changes, Amber Valley Borough Council has updated its HMO Licensing Policy, which can be viewed on its website.

Landlords of relevant properties must ensure that they have submitted an application before 1st October.  Applications can be made through the Council’s website and paper copies are available on request. Guidance on making an application is also available on the Council’s website. There is a fee of £520 and a licence lasts for up to 5 years.

There are significant financial penalties for landlords should applications not be made by 1st October 2018. If landlords do not have a licence, or breach its conditions, they are committing a criminal offence.

Amber Valley Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Public Health. Cllr Paul Hillier, commented: “The Council is keen to ensure that all the HMO landlords and agents are aware of this change and have applied for a licence before the end of September. Our officers are happy to provide advice on the changes if landlords or their agents are unsure.

“The Council values the much-needed accommodation that meets a housing need for many of our residents. Landlords are encouraged not to ignore this change in legislation designed to improve standards in the private rented sector.”

Landlords of properties who are already licensed under the previous scheme do not need to re-apply until their current licence is close to expiry.

For further information please contact Joanne Walker on 01773 841332 or Shiona White on 01773 841433.

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