Landlords advised to act early on new legislationPublished Monday, 24th September 2018
Rotherham Council is advising landlords and housing associations to act early following changes in the law which could affect their properties.
In April the Government changed the law relating to houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) meaning that from 1 October 2018 rented properties that are occupied by five or more people - with any number of storeys - will require a licence.
Under the new regulations all flats, converted flats and one or two storey properties will need a licence. Previously only buildings over three storeys high were required to have a licence.
Licensing will also apply to blocks of purpose-built flats where there are up to two flats in the block and one or both are occupied as an HMO.
Landlords will have until April 2019 to apply for a licence or face prosecution or civil penalties of up to £30,000.
Councillor Dominic Beck, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing said: “This is a national change and from October all landlords of higher-risk multiple-occupied properties must have a licence for each one they own or manage.
“This comes at a time when we are preparing to consult on two new proposed Selective Licensing areas in Rotherham, and this new change in the law reflects the importance society is putting on the safety of rented housing.”
The new five-year licences cost £824, the same as the current licence fees for HMOs. HMO Properties already licensed in a Selective Licensing area will not need to apply and will be transferred to the new scheme for free until the end of their current licence in 2020.
Landlords can apply now by downloading an application form from the Council’s website:
A licensing guide for landlords as well as the full government guidance is also available on the Council’s website at the above link.
The new licensing scheme applies to private rented, Housing Association and Council-operated HMOs. The licensing fee covers the cost of the administration and enforcement of the licensing scheme.