The end of Brighton & Hove’s additional HMO licensing
As of February 28th, 2023, the Additional HMO Licensing Scheme for three or four-bedroom properties in Brighton and Hove will come to an end. Landlords who have been paying a license fee to the city council will no longer have to do so. This change is a result of the council's review of its housing policies and regulations, aimed at ensuring a better standard of living for tenants while minimizing the regulatory burden on landlords.
The Additional HMO Licensing Scheme was introduced in 2012, requiring landlords who rent out three or four-bedroom Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) to apply for a license. The scheme was designed to improve the quality of housing in the city, reduce anti-social behavior, and ensure that landlords were meeting their legal obligations. However, after ten years, the council has decided that the scheme is no longer necessary for three or four-bedroom properties.
This change in policy means that landlords who own three or four-bedroom HMOs will no longer need to apply for an additional license or pay the fee. However, it's important to note that all HMOs will still require a license under the mandatory HMO licensing scheme. The mandatory HMO licensing scheme applies to properties that are occupied by five or more people from two or more households. This licensing requirement is designed to protect tenants by ensuring that the property meets certain health, safety, and environmental standards.
The mandatory HMO licensing scheme has been in effect since 2006 and is still in place today. Landlords who own properties that meet the criteria for mandatory HMO licensing must apply for a license and pay the fee. Failure to do so can result in fines of up to £30,000, so it's important to comply with the regulations.
The licensing fees for mandatory HMO licensing vary depending on the council and the property. In Brighton and Hove, the fee for a five-year license is currently £840 for a single-household HMO and £1,090 for a multi-household HMO. However, the council has announced that it will be reviewing its licensing fees in light of the changes to the Additional HMO Licensing Scheme.
Landlords who own HMOs in Brighton and Hove should ensure that they are complying with all the relevant regulations. This includes the mandatory HMO licensing scheme, as well as other regulations relating to health and safety, gas and electrical safety, and fire safety. Failure to comply with these regulations can result in fines, legal action, and even imprisonment.
In conclusion, the end of the Additional HMO Licensing Scheme for three or four-bedroom properties in Brighton and Hove is a significant change for landlords. While it means that landlords will no longer have to pay the license fee for these properties, it's important to remember that all HMOs are still subject to the mandatory HMO licensing scheme. Landlords should ensure that they are complying with all the relevant regulations and keep up-to-date with any changes to licensing fees or regulations.
Brighton and Hove City Council. (2022). Changes to Additional HMO Licensing. Retrieved from https://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/housing/private-housing/