New additional licensing scheme starts in Camden on 8 December 2020
Following a public consultation earlier this year (read here), Camden Council’s Cabinet have approved plans to renew their additional landlord licensing scheme.
The current additional licensing scheme came into force on 8 December 2015 and ends on 8 December 2020. According to the council, 3,400 properties have been inspected and licensed under the current scheme.
With an estimated 8,000 Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the borough, this indicates there could still be thousands of properties operating illegally without a licence.
According to the council, over 1,000 responses were received during the 12 week consultation, of which almost two thirds (64%) backed renewal of the scheme.
When the new scheme starts on 8 December 2020, licensing will continue being required for all HMOs including house and flat shares occupied by three or more people who are not all related. Certain buildings converted into flats (section 257 HMOs) also require licensing if less than half of the flats are owner occupied.
Increase in licence application fees
As part of the licensing scheme renewal, the council have decided to increase the licence application fees to make the scheme self-funding. The fee will be payable in two instalments.
Previously, HMO licences were charged at £750 plus £60 per unit of accommodation, making the lowest fee £870 for a two-bedroom property occupied by three people (a couple and an unrelated third person).
Under the new arrangements, the standard application fee for all HMO licences will be £1,300. Landlords who renew their licence before the current licence expires will be charged a lower £1,130.
There is a small discount for accredited landlords, which will be increased to £100.
Councillor Meric Apak, Cabinet Member for Better Homes, Camden Council said:
“I would like to thank everyone who took part in our consultation for this scheme – seeing a majority of respondents back the renewal shows the positive impact the scheme is having on Camden’s private rented sector.
“Around a third of Camden residents rent from private landlords and they deserve to live in properly regulated, secure and safe homes.
“Most landlords are decent law-abiding people, however we know that there are rogue landlords out there that continue to operate illegally, renting properties that are overcrowded and have a number of safety issues.
“The renewal of the additional licensing scheme for HMOs for a further five years will mean that we can continue to improve living standards for people who rent privately in Camden and tackle landlords who are exploiting tenants.
“The renewal comes at a time where we are seeing an even greater need to continue with this scheme, as the current pandemic has highlighted how important it is for all of us to have a safe and comfortable home“.
A free guide containing more detailed information about property licensing in the London Borough of Camden is available here.
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