HMO UPDATE FEBRUARY 2020

Since our last mailers to you in November 2018 and October 2019, we can confirm that the new Newcastle City Council HMO licencing schemes of ‘Additional’ Licencing and ‘Selective’ licensing will officially open on 6th April this year.  It’s very important that you read the information on this document and the links provided. 

History

Between 5 November 2018 and 27 January 2019, the council carried out a 12-week consultation on a proposed licensing scheme for private rented properties. The proposal included a mixture of Additional HMO and Selective Licensing designations covering approximately 68% (18,000) of private rented properties in the city.  This consultation has now closed but more information can be found here.

 

Changes to Licencing

As it stands, a licensable HMO relates to properties with five or more occupiers. From the 6th April 2020 the vast majority of HMO’s in Newcastle will require a licence.  The scheme incorporates properties with ‘three or more occupants’, thereby bringing three and four‐bedroom properties within the legislation.  Student and Professional properties in the popular locations of Jesmond, Sandyford, Heaton and City Centre will all be affected, so if you’re renting to three people, chances are you’ll need a licence.

The additional licencing covers Newcastle City as a whole and selected (hyperlink) areas identified by Newcastle City Council, which you can find online by a postcode search in the next few weeks.  The council currently provide a map outlining the areas affected.  If you’re unsure if your property falls into the categories, you can search online when it becomes available shortly.

Acorn Properties have been working with Newcastle Council to understand their plans and strategy for the city.  We have been exploring all options to assist both our Managed and Non-Managed landlords with their licensing applications. Our team at Acorn will be able to offer help and advice on your application, if you have any questions, please email HMO@acornproperties.co.uk

 

What happens next?

  • Newcastle City Council are running workshops to help you with the application process.
  • Newcastle City Council will be running an advertising campaign on radio, press and above the line media to make sure landlords are aware and compliant with the changes to licensing.
  • The application process is not yet open, but it should be available in the coming weeks if you have a property in the affected areas.
  • If you have a property where you are renting to three or more tenants in the affected areas, a licence application must be submitted.
  • The total cost of a licence will be £750 for an ‘Additional’ license and £650 for a ‘Selected’ licence.
  • A licence will last for 5 years.
  • Without the licence you will only be permitted to rent to a maximum two unrelated people.
  • The application will be in two parts and payment made in two instalments.
  • Additional works may be required to ensure properties are HMO compliant.
  • As with current licencing, there will be civil penalties for non-compliance up to £30,000.

 

Exemptions for ‘Additional’ licencing 

A full list of exemptions will be provided on the council’s website.

 

If your property is managed by Acorn Properties: 

Our team at Acorn Properties have been liaising with the council since the council started its consultation process and as of this week are still receiving updates from the HMO and housing departments.

The changes to licensing on the Newcastle Council website were updated in February 2020 with ‘additional’ licencing link yet to go live.  We have begun to contact our managed landlord’s who are affected by the changes to licencing and our staff have separate training provided by the council’s HMO team.  Our close relationship means that we can ensure you are fully compliant and any works required will be managed and checked by the HMO inspectors.

If you have any questions or concerns in the meantime, please email us at hmo@acornproperties.co.uk

 

*The licensing information is still subject to change, but is correct as of 28th February 2020.

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