Compulsory Licensing For HMO Properties Set To Reach Another City

25 August 2012 Categories: News

Compulsory Licensing For HMO Properties Set To Reach Another City

Southampton City Council are meeting this week to decide whether the public should be consulted on plans to impose compulsory licensing for HMO’s over the next few years – even though the scheme is predicted to get the go-ahead regardless. Over 6,500 HMO’s are currently registered in the city however only 392 are licensed; the result of which is a significant problem with rogue landlords.

If councillors vote to consult the public then landlords, tenants and letting agents will get the opportunity to put their views across regarding the scheme and the £500 licensing fee that will apply to each individual property. If not then the scheme will quickly become a reality for landlords in the city.

A spokesman for Southampton Council commented, “Although the council recognises that there are many good landlords, this sector, concentrated in the north and central areas of the city, has some significant problems.

“Research suggests that within the 6,500 properties affected, there is evidence of unsatisfactory management, disrepair, inadequate safety standards and community harm.”

Roger Bell from the Southern Landlords Association has a different viewpoint though and considers the proposed licensing fee ‘unjustified’. He also believes that the cost will be passed on to tenants in the form of rent increases, and recently said, “The cost will be passed on to those least able to pay it. These are people due to force of circumstance who are forced to live in HMO’s.”