Camden Council’s HMO licensing consultation closes 5 May 2015
With all eyes on the general election campaign, landlords may have overlooked the significance of Camden Council’s licensing consultation that closes two days earlier.
Camden Council is looking to extend licensing to all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the borough, covering an estimated 8,000 properties. This would include houses or flats shared by three or more people who are not all related. So a landlord looking to rent to three unrelated young professionals would need a licence from the council.
The proposed additional licensing scheme would include properties that have been converted into self-contained flats where the conversion did not comply with the relevant Building Regulations and still does not comply. A licence would only be needed if at least half the flats were tenanted (known as a ‘Section 257 HMO’). This means some properties containing long leasehold owner-occupied flats could get caught up in the scheme.
At present, Camden’s mandatory HMO licensing scheme only covers properties three of more storeys high occupied by five of more people who are not all related and share facilities.
Before consulting on the licensing scheme, Camden Council said that their environmental health officers visited 391 HMOs that do not fall under the current licensing scheme. They found that 40% appeared to be poorly or very poorly managed. They also found that two in five (44%) of properties had at least one serious or other health and safety hazard. The Council has said that the scheme will help them to work together with landlords to make sure that homes are safe and well managed and they want to know what everyone thinks.
The consultation closes on Wednesday 5 May 2015 – all landlords, managing agents, tenants and residents are being encouraged to have their say. More information about the proposal and the online survey are on the Council’s website.
An overview of property licensing in Camden is also available on our website at www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/camden.