As yet, there is no decision on what will happen when the current 'Additional Licensing' of HMO properties comes to an end in August 2018, but the Brighton example shows that we cannot assume it will just go away. If councillors have an appetite for more regulation, we could find ourselves in the same situation as our friends in the SLA who have properties in Brighton.
Our views on this are clear and where covered in last months news: http://pdpla.com/pdpla-news/news-articles/item/350-pdpla-debates-licensing-co-regulation
However, the situation in Brighton, according to the SLA is as follows:
1. Members should be well aware that Brighton & Hove City Council are currently seeking responses to proposals for extending Additional Licensing for all small shared houses (HMOs) throughout the city and to introduce Selective Licensing (SL) in the twelve wards that are already subject to Additional Licensing.
2. Brighton & Hove City Council also intend to re-licence all small HMOs in the five wards where the current 5 year Additional Licensing scheme expires on 4th November 2017. These wards are:-
• Hanover and Elm Grove
• Moulsecoomb and Bevendean
• St Peters and North Laine
• Hollingdean and Stanmer
• Queens Park
3. In addition, Additional Licensing was introduced in a further seven wards on 2ndNovember 2015. These wards are:-
• Brunswick and Adelaide
• Central Hove
• East Brighton
• Preston Park
The proposal is as follows:-
a. To licence all small shared houses (HMOs) within the entire city.
b. To introduce Selective Licensing in the twelve wards currently subject to additional licensing.
c. To re-licence for a further five years, the small HMOs in the five wards where the scheme is due to expire on 4th November 2017.
4. The overall cost to Landlords of obtaining licences is around £13,500,000 plus of course the cost of any works required by the local authority.
5. Many landlords (if not all) will seek to recover the cost of fees from their tenants.
6. The cost of a standard fee for one property under Selective Licensing is £460.00.
7. For a shared house let on a single agreement, the fee is for 3-5 persons, £670.00 and increases according to the number of persons occupying the property.
8. For a shared house let on multiple tenancies, the licensing fee commences at £850 for 3 to 5 tenancies and increases in stages to £1,330 for 10 to 12 tenancies.
9. Our Association (the SLA) considers that the local authority is acting unlawfully in proposing the introduction of these schemes.
10. In the case of Selective Licensing for the scheme currently proposed, permission of the Secretary of State (DCLG) will be required. You can be assured that our Association (the SLA) will make strong representation opposing Selective Licensing if the scheme is required to be submitted to Government.