Shock 58 per cent rise in licensing fee imposed by council

A new private rental licensing regime in a London borough is being described as “a major step forward in improving living standards” – but comes with a 58 per cent rise in some fees for buy to let investors and professional landlords.

The new additional licensing scheme introduced this week by Enfield council includes most HMOs in the borough.

This extends licensing to an estimated 8,000 HMOs including shared houses, shared flats and bedsit HMOs occupied by three or more people who are not all related.

This goes beyond the mandatory HMO licensing scheme which is restricted to most HMOs occupied by five or more people.

Meanwhile the council has increased its mandatory HMO licence application fees for properties with five lettings, rising from £697 to £1,100 – that’s an increase of 58 per cent.

Larger HMOs are being charged at a higher rate according to the number of lettings.

The cost of an additional licence application is a fixed fee of £900 per property, with all application fees payable in two instalments.

A council spokesman says: “Having a licence will allow landlords to demonstrate that they provide decent quality accommodation for tenants, and we will work with landlords to support them to achieve the licence conditions.

“We believe the scheme will improve the reputation of private landlords, as well as Enfield’s reputation for providing quality housing. The scheme is a major step forward in improving living standards for many Enfield residents.”

However, it is thought that a selective licensing scheme which the council had wanted to introduce – and which it had consulted on – has yet to be approved by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

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