Date Published 04 August 2016
Following a public consultation earlier this year, Ealing Council has agreed to introduce two new property licensing schemes to help improve standards in the borough's private rented sector.
The new additional and selective licensing schemes will both come into force from 1 January 2017 for a five year period. This will make it a legal requirement for landlords to obtain a licence to operate certain types of houses in multiple occupation (HMO) anywhere in Ealing, or to let a home in five selected wards of the borough.
An HMO is a house or flat occupied by more than one household (not related or living as a couple) who rent the property and share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet. At the moment only certain larger HMOs in Ealing are licensable, under the existing mandatory licensing scheme.
The new additional licensing scheme will apply to all HMOs that are two storeys or more and occupied by four or more persons, but not covered by the existing mandatory scheme. The scheme will also apply to all HMOs in buildings with mixed commercial and residential use, plus certain so-called section 257 HMOs, which are buildings converted into self-contained flats.
In addition, the new selective licensing will apply to all privately rented homes in Acton Central, East Acton, South Acton, Southall Green and Southall Broadway wards where the council believes this type of licensing will deliver the most benefits to the community.
To obtain a licence for five years, landlords or managing agents will be required to pay a licence fee for each rented property in the designated schemes. The additional licensing fee is £1,100 for each HMO plus £30 for each habitable room and the selective licensing fee is £500.
Applicants who sign up between 1st October and 31st December 2016 may be eligible to receive a 25% early bird discount and save themselves hundreds of pounds. Those who are already members of a recognised landlord's accreditation scheme may also qualify for a further discount of £75.
Once the scheme is in force failure to obtain a licence may result in prosecution and an unlimited fine.
The public notices in regards to the two schemes can be found via the following link: https://www.ealing.gov.uk/downloads/download/3963/public_notices_week_ending_31_july
Should you have any queries regarding the property licensing schemes please email PRSlicensing@ealing.gov.uk.