New Year heralds steep rise in Redbridge Council’s landlord licensing fees

Sunday, January 20th, 2019 - Redbridge Council

Research by London Property Licensing has identified a steep rise in landlord licensing fees in the London Borough of Redbridge.

On 1 January 2019, the council increased their licence application fees for mandatory HMO, additional and selective licences.

Mandatory HMO Licensing

Up until 31 December 2018, Redbridge Council had a matrix of charges that varied according to the size and occupancy of the property. The licence application fee for a three storey HMO with five unrelated sharers was £800.

For accredited landlords the council offered a 10% discount, reducing the cost to £720.

On 1 January 2019, a new schedule of charges was introduced, increasing the cost of an equivalent property licence to £1,494. At the same time, the council also removed the 10% discount for accredited landlords.

Whereas Redbridge Council’s licence application fees were one of the lowest in London, the new fees are significantly above the London average of around £1,200 for five sharers.

Additional Licensing

Up until 31 December 2018, Redbridge Council charged a flat rate fee of £500 to license all HMOs under the council’s additional licensing scheme.

On 1 January 2019, the additional licence application fee more than doubled to between £1,272 and £1,864 depending on the number of households, with no discount for accredited landlords.

Selective Licensing

Up until 31 December 2018, Redbridge Council charged a flat rate fee of £500 to license all single-family properties under their selective licensing schemes.

The council operate two selective licensing schemes and the second scheme covering a large part of the borough was implemented on 1 October 2018. Under that scheme, landlords that submitted their licence application before 31 December were being charged just £250.

On 1 January 2019, in addition to ending the 50% early bird fee discount, the council also increased all their selective licensing fees by over 20% from £500 to £604. Such a significant increase in fees just three months after implementing a new scheme is very unusual.

According to Redbridge Council, we understand landlords who started their selective licence application for the second scheme before 31 December 2018 will be given until 11 February 2019 to submit their application and still benefit from the £250 early bird fee.

Commenting of the steep rise in fees, Richard Tacagni, MD, London Property Licensing said:

Such a significant increase in licence application fees will be unwelcome news for private landlords who are operating in an increasingly difficult financial climate.

Charging an application fee of £1,200+ for a three-person house or flat share risks reducing flexibility in the rental market as landlords become reluctant to pay such high entry fees. This in turn risks making it more difficult for single people to find landlords and agents willing to let to sharers“.

For more information on the property licensing and HMO planning requirements in London Borough of Redbridge, you can read our free guide here.

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