Additional Licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation

The council has introduced additional licensing, which applies to certain Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) not already covered by mandatory HMO licensing, this will come into effect from 1st October 2018. Charges will be applied if your application needs to prompted and you may face a civil penalty if you are letting a property without a licence.

Additional licensing places obligations on the landlords to act proactively and ensure their properties meet set standards prior to occupation and throughout the term of the licence.

We have the power to introduce additional licensing under Part II of the Housing Act 2004.

What are our plans for additional licensing?

The additional licensing scheme and Article 4 Direction for HMOs in parts of Doncaster Town Centre, Hyde Park, Balby North, Wheatley and Intake. Landlords and persons managing HMO's that fall under the new criteria, must make a application for a licence by the 1st October 2018. 

As with other licensing schemes landlords and agents can apply through our approved delivery partner The Home Safe Scheme Limited. The Home Safe Scheme Limited are a landlord support service to help you remain compliant and keep your property free from hazards. 

Under this proposal, all private rented sector landlords or their managing agents letting an HMO with 4 or more occupiers in the area shown above would have to apply for a licence. This would be for each property they rent out, and within 6 months of the scheme becoming operative. However, certain exemptions will apply.

Please note additional licensing requirements also apply to section 257 HMOs which are buildings comprising of self contained flats where they do not comply with the Building Regulations 1991 (or more recent Building Regulations) and where less than two thirds of flats in the building are owner occupied.  

The licensing cannot restrict, limit or place conditions on how any further family properties are converted into HMOs.

Who will be exempt?

Under the additional licensing scheme, you would not need an additional licence if the property is:

  • An HMO that already requires a licence under the mandatory HMO licensing scheme
  • Already regulated under other statutory provisions, such as The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses
  • In Hexthorpe and already has a selective licence. Under the proposal, this area would still be covered by the Article 4 proposals
  • Subject to an Interim or Final Management Order (see Part 4 of the Housing Act 2004 for information about these orders)
  • Covered by a temporary exemption notice
  • Managed a local housing authority, registered social landlord, police or fire & rescue authority or a health service body
  • Falls within an exemption applying to certain student halls of residence
  • Occupied mainly for the purposes of a religious community whose main occupations are prayer, contemplation, education or the relief of suffering
  • Occupied by an owner with no more than two lodgers
  • Occupied by two people who form two households

How much will it cost?

We expect the recoverable cost of a licence for a property with up to 5 bedrooms will be:

Applications via the Council

£800, with a £15.00 reduction on any future applications from the same applicant. The fee will be paid up front and in one payment. Apply for a licence
 

Applications via Home Safe landlord support service (monthly payments available)

Discounted Licence fee of £250 with a £15 reduction on any additional licence applied for by the same Landlord. To qualify Landlords must join the Home Safe support scheme at a cost of either £9.00 + VAT per month, per licence collected by Direct Debit or alternatively an advance membership payment for the full 5 years of £450 plus Vat. To find out more about Home Safe or to start your application please click here and then select your local authority.

What would happen if a landlord does not apply for, or obtain, a licence?

Landlords and persons managing HMO's that fall under the new criteria in the designated areas, are required to obtain a licence by 1st January 2019, unless a notification in relation to a temporary exemption or an application for a licence is effective. Failure to obtain a licence by this date, may result in the Council seeking prosecution or issuing a civil penalty to those responsible. 

Have any more questions?

If you have any questions, or would like to see a copy of the consultation, please email Additional.Licensing@doncaster.gov.uk.

Please also read the following questions and answers:

Why did we introduce additional licensing?

We recognised that HMOs help to meet local housing requirements. However, we receive a number of complaints from residents regarding overcrowding and anti-social behaviour in HMOs. These complaints are mainly about small terraces with a traditional 'two up two down' layout, which have been converted into HMOs.

What are the benefits of additional licensing?

Additional licensing will help to reduce anti-social behaviour in the areas mentioned on this page. It will also have a number of benefits for landlords and tenants. For example, landlords will eventually receive an increase in rental income.

What are the conditions of the license?

You or yourmanagingagentwillneedtomeetcertainconditionstogetalicence.Licences include the need to:
  • pass a fit and proper persons test
  • obtain tenant references
  • confirm tenancy agreements are in place and provided to tenants
  • provide fitted and working smoke alarms and certificates confirming gas and electricity safety

To see the full list of conditions, please contact us for a copy of the consultation.

What is an Article 4 Direction?

An Article 4 Direction allows us to withdraw permitted development rights for specific development works or changes of use. In this case, it would be the withdrawal of the permitted development rights that currently allow houses to be converted into HMOs without planning permission when they are to be occupied by 6 or fewer people. Article 4 Directions are made when the character of an area of acknowledged importance would be threatened. It's important to note that requiring a planning application to be submitted does not mean that all applications would be refused. It does however allow us to consider each case against national and local policies, particularly the benefits and impact, before making a decision. It also allows local residents to be informed about what is being proposed for their area, and make representation.

I am a tenant; what will I need to do if the scheme is introduced?

You will need to work with your landlord to meet the licence conditions. These can be found by clicking the above row. Failure to meet the conditions will mean your landlord must work with us and the police to resolve the problem. This may result in you being evicted from the property.

 

Last updated: 10 May 2019 09:43:47