Ealing Council Extend Landlord Licensing For HMO’s And Any Letting In Selective Areas Of Acton And Southall

Jeremy-TealllEaling Council have announced they will introduce two new licensing schemes in the New Year to help improve standards in the Borough’s private rented sector. The Council will make it a legal requirement for landlords to obtain a licence to operate any house in multiple occupation (HMO) anywhere in the Ealing Borough, or to let a house or flat in five selected wards of the Borough. This follows a consultation exercise earlier this year .

The new licensing provisions will both come into force for a five year period from 1 January 2017. A HMO is a house or flat occupied by more than one household (not related or living as a couple) who rent the property and share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet. At the moment only certain larger HMOs in Ealing are covered by the existing mandatory licensing scheme. The new additional licensing scheme will apply to all HMOs that are two storeys or more and occupied by four or more people but not covered by the mandatory scheme.

In addition, the new selective licensing will apply to all privately rented houses/flats in Acton Central, East Acton, South Acton, Southall Green and Southall Broadway wards where the Council believes this type of licensing will deliver the most benefits to the community.

To obtain a licence for five years, landlords or managing agents will be required to pay a licence fee for each rented property in the designated schemes. The additional licensing fee is £1,100 for each HMO plus £30 for each habitable room. The selective licensing fee is £500. Failure to obtain a licence may result in prosecution and an unlimited fine. The Council are offering an early bird fee reduction. Applicants who sign up between 1st October and 31st December 2016 may be eligible to receive a 25% discount . Those who are already members of a recognised landlord’s accreditation scheme may also qualify for a further discount of £75.

Under the new proposals a licensed Landlord will also have to comply with several conditions relating to the management and condition of the property, including gas, electrical, fire safety and other facilities provided. A written tenancy agreement would be required and anti-social behaviour by tenants would not be permitted. As stated the Licence Term will be up to five years and the schemes will be reviewed annually.

If you have any queries concerning the matters raised please contact Partner, Jeremy Teall, Head of Prince Evans Landlord and Tenant Team on 0208 567 3477 or by e-mail on jteall@prince-evans.co.uk.