On 1 October Hackney council expanded their property licensing scheme. The application process opened on 25 September and landlords have until 2 December to submit their applications. Enforcement will commence by Hackney council on 3 December. This is one of a number of new licensing schemes and comes as the government has widened the use of mandatory licensing.
A license will be required by landlords renting out properties:
– which are HMO properties – have 3 or more unrelated individuals or households and shared facilities, such as kitchens (additional licensing),
– non-HMO properties located in the Brownswood, Cazenove or Stoke Newington wards (selective licensing).
These licenses will cost landlords from £500 to £950 with the fee covering the cost of managing the licensing schemes, including the setup and running and enforcement. Discounts are available for landlords who are members of an accreditation scheme.
Landlords who fail to apply for a licence by 2 December could face a financial penalty notice of up to £30,000 or an unlimited fine from the court.
The cost of the license application could fall foul of the Provision of Services Regulations 2009 because the fee includes enforcement costs. However, the council does not appear to have taken this into consideration following the Gaskin v LB Richmond Upon Thames decision.