New HMO requirements in Brent
Due to new laws implemented from October 1 2018, any property with five or more unrelated residents from at least two separate households living in a three storey property will require the landlord to seek a Mandatory HMO licence.
This means that any rented houses in multi-occupation (HMOs) in Brent and the wards of Harlesden, Wembley Central and Willesden Green must have an HMO licence to avoid being liable for prosecution or a fine.
If you do not apply for a licence, or your current licence runs out before a new one is received, you could be liable for prosecution and an unlimited fine. If found guilty you would also be given either a civil penalty of up to £30,000 per offence, or a criminal record, as well as being banned from running a rental property.
HMO licences explained
Any landlord who owns a property that houses five unrelated people from at least two separate households requires a Mandatory licence.
Owners of small HMOs require Additional licencing. This is defined as being a property rented out to three or more people who make up two or more households, regardless of the number of storeys in the property itself.
Households are defined as being either an entire family group living together; a single person living alone; a couple in a relationship; or a married couple in separate rooms within the same property. For example, if there are five unrelated people living in different rooms sharing the same facilities, this would be classed as five households.
New licence fees explained
The reason behind the extension of the HMO licencing scheme in Brent is to raise standards within the private housing sector. This is to ensure residents are able to secure affordable and high quality accommodation within the borough.
Fees associated with the application of a licence also increased from June 1 2018. Brent council have stressed they are not allowed to make any profit from the scheme as it has to be cost neutral. They have explained the price increase as being required to cover costs related to the setup, running and enforcement of the scheme.
|Licence type||Description||Old fees||New fees||Renewal cost|
|Mandatory||Houses with three or more storeys, with five or more unrelated people comprising of two or more households||£540 + £25 for each extra habitable room above the minimum five habitable rooms (discounts may apply)||£840 + £25 for each extra habitable room above the minimum five habitable rooms||£740|
|Additional||All privately rented properties with five or more unrelated people comprising of two or more households, with no restriction on the amount of storeys||£540 (discounts may apply)||£840||£740|
If you already have accreditation via the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme (LLAS or ATLAS) you may be able to receive a £40 discount per property application. This is a good will gesture from Brent council in recognition of the many well-managed properties already located within the borough.
Get in touch with our expert HMO consultation and management service today to see how we can help you understand the legal requirements related to HMO property ownership and whether or not your property requires a licence.
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