Landlords need to keep up with licencingJun 22, 2011 // Christian Reynolds
Many UK landlords will need new licenses from the local council, Hastings Borough Council (HBC) announced this week.
Many landlords of Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) will be required to purchase a licence that will cost between £854 and £1,514 per year, depending on the size of the property.
This will be launched in the areas of Castle Ward, Gensing, Central St Leonards and Baybrooke as reports show this is where the majority of HMOs are found.
It is likely that the new licensing laws will be spread across the whole of the country. A public consultation revealed that 85% of people and 60% of landlords support the new licencing scheme.
The new licenses are a bid to improve the quality of accommodation after a report suggested that a significant proportion of HMOs were in poor condition and areas that are generally linked with ‘social problems and deprivation’.
Trevor Webb, lead member for housing at HBC said:
“This is part of our quest to make more balanced communities. The link to high levels of crime, poor health and economic activity cannot be questioned…This is a good report and a good day for the town.”
A councillor who represents Castle Ward said:
“I really welcome this – we put a lot of effort into improving the street scene and this goes beyond the front doors to improve living conditions in some of our poorest homes.”
But it is a concern of some councillors that responsible landlords could be unduly penalised or people could be left homeless if HMOs close because of the new scheme. Reassurances need to be provided before the new scheme takes effect in September.