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Nick - Hertfordshire said: Posted on: 26/03/2018 09:06

We have a regulaed but not licensed small HMO. We have been inspected and belng to the local councils 'Partnership Accreditation Landlord' scheme for well run rental properties. Following a conversation with the Private Rental Housng Offcer of the council respinsible for the area where we have our property (Welwyn and Hatfield in Hertfordshire) he explained he would be taking a paper to the douncil to set the rate of the licence. Current rates for larger HMO's are £900 for a 5 year licence. He anticipated the new licence might be less given a smaller property, but the £900 is is starting point. For this we get ......... Nothing more than we currently do!! I questioned what the fee was for and implored it not to become a money making scheme, and he advised they were not able to turn a profit, but it would cover the initial inspection, the in licence inspection and also costs 'of those who don't pay'. On this last pount I challenged him that the council had powers to deal with bad landlords and rcover costs, those of us who cmoly shood not be penalised. He, however did not conceed this. He also indicated he was seeking clarification on the current requirement for licensed HMO's to have wash basins in each room.
Can we, as an ogamisation please make representations on both these points to enavoyr to get guidance to councils that fee's shpuld be set at a reasnable level for smaller properties, representative of actual costs for the individual licence not allowing cover for other council losses. Also the need for wash basins in larger previously licensed HMO's may be valid, but to allow this to simply default across to smaller HMO's as part of the licence extension process is an unnecassary measure and burden that means as landlords we may be forced to considerable expenditure on a facility that is not needed and therfor not be able to spend on actual improvements we had planned. Anything we can do as a combined voice may have greater impact than as individuals.

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