Leading London Realtor Says HMO and Selective Licensing Ridiculous
If you have plans of renting out your property, it is important to comply with landlord registration, HMO and Selective Licensing laws to protect your business and to help you avoid huge fines and sanctions.
A house in multiple application or HMO is a house or a flat which is rented to three or more tenants who form two or more households, sharing a single kitchen, bathroom or toilet.
Introduced in 2006, selective licensing calls for a mandatory or additional licensing for landlords whose properties fail to meet the housing criteria and whose properties fall in designated selective licensing areas. It’s introduction was to address the problems arising from privately rented properties and for its owners to mend or reduce their socially unacceptable practices. This would include smaller privately rented shared houses and flats and below standard converted properties.
A paperwork nightmare
Steve Wayne, founder of Benjamin Stevens, a multi-branch estate agency based in Edgware and Bushey Heath which specialises in residential and commercial properties says that the HMO and Selective Licensing is “a ridiculous joke”.
Wayne who handles numerous properties for clients says that regulations for HMO and Selective Licensing varies depending on location which makes paperwork a nightmare for landlords or agents who are looking after multiple properties.
Citing the following, the top London real estate agent says: “For example, where I’m sat here in our head office, we’re surrounded by the London Borough of Barnet, Brent and Harrow and they all have different policies on HMOs, while some do Selective Licensing and some don’t...”
“It’s insane when you think about the practicalities of it; we have identical properties that are only a road apart and yet the rules and price of paying to register can be very different.
“For example, you end up having one long road, a third of which is in Harrow, a third of which is Brent, and the other bit is in Barnet.”
According to Wayne, giving the boroughs independent control over the Selective Licensing and HMO regulations was a mistake “because it then becomes a bureaucratic nightmare”, involving complex laws and policies which could be the cause of delays.
Wayne further adds that:
“If we had one set of rules that were applied nationally then it would be easier to enforce and easier for tenants and landlords to understand what levels of property and tenancy management are expected.”
Landlord Registration, HMO & Selective Licensing