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Christmas Comes Early for Councils Operating HMO Licensing Schemes


A study on the effects of selective licensing has revealed that in most cases councils are onto a winner. The study carried out by the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health looked at three council areas where selective licensing had been introduced for landlords operating HMOs.

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Licensing Study Results The results indicated that in many cases rogue landlords were being deterred from running sub-standard housing and had elected to move away from the area.

This is probably because many of the councils running selective HMO licensing schemes are using the extra cash to fund more housing officers and the cost of taking rogue landlords to court.

Successful Prosecutions Newham council is the flagship council for HMO licensing. There are more than 35,000 private rental properties and HMOs in Newham and, since the inception of their selective licensing scheme, Newham housing department has prosecuted 99 landlords for various housing offences. Leeds is another council with a successful licensing scheme in operation, and although it hasn’t pursued as many landlords as Newham, it has taken 42 landlords to court this year.

Improved Housing Conditions All councils say that housing conditions have improved since the introduction of selective licensing. However, some experts are concerned that HMO licensing is causing ordinary law-abiding landlords a major headache because of the extra cost and red tape involved. There have even been reports that some lenders are refusing to fund landlords who want to buy properties in areas where selective licensing schemes are in operation.

How has selective licensing affected you? Let us know!

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