New additional and selective licensing schemes introduced in Hammersmith & Fulham
New additional and selective licensing schemes came into force in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham on 5 June 2017.
The council say that they have introduced the new licensing schemes to better protect tenants from rogue landlords, while also protecting honest landlords from badly-behaving tenants.
The additional licensing scheme applies borough wide and includes all houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). This includes all shared houses and flats let to three or more people who are not all related.
The selective licensing scheme extends licensing to all other private rented homes located in 170+ streets across the borough. These are streets where the council believes there are significant and persistent problems associated with anti-social behaviour. All rented homes in these streets will need to be licensed by the council.
The council say they want to raise standards for licensed rental properties to keep tenants safe and to reduce potential problems for neighbours. It is estimated that the two schemes will extend licensing to over 8,000 properties.
The council already operates a mandatory licensing scheme for properties which have three or more storeys and are occupied by five or more people with at least two households.
Licence application fees
There will be a flat fee of £540 per property to obtain an additional or selective licence for up to five years. There are some discounts for accredited landlords and those that sign up to the council’s landlord rental charter.
The council are allowing landlords until 5 October 2017 to apply for a licence. However, landlords of licensable properties will be unable to serve a section 21 notice of seeking possession on their tenants until an application has been submitted.
Landlords and managing agents of properties that remain unlicensed after that date will risk criminal prosecution and an unlimited fine, a civil penalty of up to £30,000 and various other sanctions.
The licensing scheme has the backing of independent Hammersmith estate agent John Horton, founder of Horton and Garton, who believes that an overall improvement in standards will benefit everyone:
“It’s important that landlords understand their responsibilities – and thankfully the majority are extremely responsible,” he said. “It’s also great news for local renters who now have more protection and can expect higher standards from landlords.“
Further information is available by visiting the Council’s website, or by visiting www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/hammersmith-fulham.
Landlords and agents seeking assistance with the licence application process can also use the London Property Licensing licence application handling service.
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