Enfield additional landlord licensing scheme comes into force today
A new additional licensing scheme which includes most Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the London Borough of Enfield has come into force today (1 September 2020).
The council had wanted to implement a selective licensing scheme at the same time although it is understood that scheme has been delayed. Due to the size of the selective licensing scheme, it cannot be implemented by the council without government approval.
The council had consulted on the licensing proposals from 28 August to 29 November 2019 and received over 1,500 responses (read here).
Whereas the mandatory HMO licensing scheme is restricted to most HMOs occupied by five or more people, the new licensing scheme has extended licensing to an estimated 8,000 HMOs in the borough.
Under the new arrangements, a licence is required for all HMOs (excluding section 257 HMOs) including shared houses, shared flats and bedsit HMOs occupied by three or more people who are not all related.
Enfield Council’s Cabinet Member for Licensing & Regulatory Services, Cllr George Savva, said:
“People in Enfield have a right to expect a decent and safe standard of private rented accommodation, which is well managed and maintained.
“Having a licence will allow landlords to demonstrate that they provide decent quality accommodation for tenants, and we will work with landlords to support them to achieve the licence conditions.
“We believe the scheme will improve the reputation of private landlords, as well as Enfield’s reputation for providing quality housing.
“The scheme is a major step forward in improving living standards for many Enfield residents.“
Dramatic rise in licence application fees
Alongside the new additional licensing scheme, the council have increased their mandatory HMO licence application fees.
The application fee for an HMO with five lettings has increased from £697 to £1,100, an increase of 58%. Larger HMOs are being charged at a higher rate according to the number of lettings.
Meanwhile, the cost of an additional licence application is a fixed fee of £900 per property, with all application fees payable in two instalments.
New online application system
Paper application forms have been scrapped, replaced by a new online application system for both licensing schemes. This should help to streamline the application system.
Take action today or face financial risk
London Property Licensing is warning landlords and agents that any delay in applying for a licence could lead to a hefty financial penalty.
With the scheme now in force, failure to submit a licence application could lead to prosecution or a civil financial penalty of up to £30,000 per property.
Tenants living in licensable but unlicensed properties can apply for a Rent Repayment Order to recover all rent paid between today (1 September 2020) and the date the application is submitted, up to a maximum of 12 months.
A free guide containing more detailed information about property licensing in the London Borough of Enfield is available here.
Our licence application handling service is available for landlords and agents who require assistance (read here).
For all the latest news and events, you can sign up for the free London Property Licensing newsletter here.