Landlords reminded to licence properties
Gloucester City Council is reminding landlords of the change in law that may mean they have to licence their property to avoid receiving a fine of up to £20,000.
Since 1 October 2018, landlords or managers of a rental property that are let to five or more people from more than one family will need to obtain a licence.
Landlords are reminded that all properties of this type are classed as a House of Multiple Occupancy (HMO). To get a licence, landlords must make sure their properties are safe and suitable for the number of occupants in the house and comply with fire safety regulations. For example, landlords will need to install and maintain smoke alarms, ensure the gas safety certificate is updated every year, and provide electrical safety certificates and fire installation, maintenance or testing records when requested.
All landlords and managers who own this type of property are advised to get in contact with the council to get free advice on safety regulations.
Those who haven’t licensed their properties could be fined up to £20,000.
The change in the law recognises that multi-occupied accommodation has higher associated risks and needs to meet the legal requirements for space, facilities provided, and to have fire safety procedures and precautions in place.
Cllr Jennie Watkins said: “We are urging landlords and managers to get in touch with us so we can help them comply with the law, protect their tenants, and make sure they avoid getting a heavy fine.
“We will do what we can to make the transition as easy as possible but the sooner people come to us the easier it will be to make sure they meet the new requirements.”
Application forms for a HMO licence and guidance on the requirements are available on the Gloucester City Council website and the Private Rented Sector Team can be contacted for free advice.
Gloucester City Council’s new licences have been issued since 1 April 2019. New applications and renewals will now receive a five-year licence instead of a three-year licence.
Licence fees have increased by £14 per year but costs to landlords have been minimised by continuing to offer them free advice. A five-year licence will cost £820 in total.
For more information or an application form, visit Gloucester City Council’s website at www.gloucester.gov.uk/housing/private-housing/multiple-occupancy-homes, call 01452 396396 or email the Private Rented Sector Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.