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Substantial fee discount for Haringey landlords that apply for an additional licence before 27 May 2019

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

At a Cabinet meeting on 12 February 2019, Haringey Council approved plans for a borough wide additional licensing scheme covering all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). The new licensing scheme will come into force on 27 May 2019.

The council carried out a public consultation between 11 December 2017 and 5 March 2018 and received over 600 responses with 70% in favour of the additional licensing proposal. By way of supportive evidence, the council reported that over 90% of properties licensed under the council’s current additional licensing scheme lacked adequate fire precautions and over 70% lacked adequate management arrangements.

The council’s current additional licensing scheme is restricted to HMOs in the wards of Bruce Grove, Northumberland Park, Seven Sisters, Tottenham Hale and Tottenham Green, plus certain converted blocks of flats, so-called section 257 HMOs. However, that licensing scheme ends on 30 April 2019 and so the council have approved plans for a more extensive replacement scheme.

When the new scheme starts on 27 May 2019, it will apply to all HMOs occupied by three or more people who are not all related. The scheme includes house and flat shares occupied by students and young professionals. The council have included all section 257 HMOs within the new scheme, whereas the previous scheme was more restrictive.  

According to the council’s consultation report, they estimate that around 17,000 properties will need to be licensed under the additional licensing scheme. It is important to note that there is no grace period and so applications need to be submitted by 27 May 2019 to ensure compliance.

Those who don’t apply for a licence or fail to comply with licence conditions can face a fixed penalty of up to £30,000 per offence, or a criminal prosecution with the risk of an unlimited fine. Landlords of unlicensed properties could also be forced to refund their tenants up to 12 months rent. Serious offenders can be banned from letting homes and placed on a rogue landlords database.

Selective licensing proposal under further consideration

When Haringey Council consulted on plans for a new additional licensing scheme, they also consulted on plans for a selective licensing scheme covering all private rented properties in 29 separate areas across the borough.

Having reflected on feedback from the consultation process, we understand the proposed selective licensing scheme will now be subject to a further review and no final decision is expected before next year.

Additional licensing application process

Whilst Haringey Council are looking to implement a new online application system, we understand it is not yet ready and so landlords will need to download an application form from the council’s website and complete it by hand.

The completed form will then need to be returned to the council together with a bundle of supporting documents. With thousands of applications expected, this will generate a huge volume of paperwork for the council to process.

A note on the council’s website says “we intend to introduce an online application form as soon as possible”.

Save over 50% on licence application fees!

Landlords and agents that apply before the scheme starts on 27 May 2019 are being rewarded with a substantial early-bird fee discount.

The standard application fee for an HMO with up to 10 units of accommodation is £1,100. However, for additional licence applications submitted before 27 May 2019 the fee will be reduced to £500, saving £600 on each application submitted.

A free guide containing more detailed information about property licensing schemes in the London Borough of Haringey is available on the London Property Licensing website here.

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