Southampton City Council Landlords Must License their properties by January 2014

Southampton City Council Landlords Must License their properties by January 2014

Southampton Council says  Landlords Must License their properties by January 2014

Southampton Council says Landlords Must License their properties by January 2014

On the 1st July 2013 Southampton City Council introduced an additional licensing scheme where all landlords with 3 or more unrelated people living in a property (flat or house)  must obtain a license from the council or face a large fine.

The move that has outraged many landlords will see properties in the four wards of Bargate, Bevois, Swaythling and Portswood, (a list of the affected streets will be available soon) forced to register their properties and apply for a license. Southampton Council will also impose a more rigorous set of amenite standards enforcing lanldlords to provide a minimum specification for things like kitchen cupboards, bedroom sizes, the number of power sockets and possibly the requirement for a suitable provision for cycle and bin storage.

Whilst some may see a local register of landlords properties as a good thing, many landlords in the area feel victimised by Southampton City Councils latest licensing requirements, coupled with the introduction of a city wide article four directive last March.

HMO licence fees 2013-14

Following representation from local landlords, the council has revised the way in which HMO licence fees are calculated and has used a national template developed by the Local Government Association (LGA). This is a more transparent and consistent way of calculating the fees. The proposed fee structure was subject to public consultation and comments received have been taken into consideration in developing the final structure and policy.

The following HMO licence fees apply to applications received after 1st April 2013.

 


Properties subject to Mandatory Licensing

Properties subject to Additional Licensing

Type of HMO

HMOs occupied by five or more people and with three or more storeys

All HMOs

Scope

City wide

Bargate, Bevois, Portswood and Swaythling wards

Applicable date

1st April 2013

1st July 2013

Cost of a five year licence Three occupiers

Not applicable

£290* discounted to
£240 until 31st August 2013

Four occupiers

Not applicable

£390* discounted to
£320 until 31st August 2013

Five or more occupiers

£490*

£490* discounted to
£400 until 31st August 2013

Penalty fee for landlords who fail to apply for a licence, fail to provide required documents or fail to permit access etc.

£1,000*

£1,000*

Discount for landlords who submit a survey completed by an approved, independent surveyor with their application

£150*

£150*

Cost of pre-application advice, including a visit

£60^

£60^

Licence variation fee (please note that this is an administration fee in addition to the difference between your current and new licence)

£25*

£25*

* These charges are not subject to VAT
^ Includes VAT at 20%

 

The biggest problem we see is in the way that additional licensing has been introduced. There has been very little publicity and many Southampton Letting Agents and Property Management Companies are aware of the latest rules that have come into effefect.

 

We are advising all landlords to check carefully if thire properties are effected by the new rules and to bear in mind the resterctions also imposed by the city wide article 4 directive requiring planning permisoion for changes of use between C3 and C4 use.

 

If you are unsure how this will effect you, please feel free to contact Mark at Progressive Lettings & Property Management on  02380 000 118 who will be happy to advise you further.

 

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