Any HMO that doesn’t fall under the Mandatory HMO licensing scheme may need an Additional HMO licence. This is not an England & Wales-wide scheme and only some councils have this in place over the whole borough or in certain wards, streets or postcodes.
Additional HMO licensing schemes tend to be brought into areas where there has been a significant change in housing occupation from families to sharers. Major cities are prime examples with their ever growing young professional populations. The main driver is to ensure fire safety standards are improved in line with the extra risks involved in shared housing.
The choice of whether or not to introduce a borough specific licensing scheme lies with your local authority as granted under Part II of the Housing Act 2004. This includes both Additional HMO licensing, and Selective licensing which occurs only in particular areas or streets within your borough, please click here for more information on Selective Licensing. Your council is likely to introduce a scheme if it feels that a significant proportion of the properties in your borough are not being managed effectively, and are thus causing issues for the tenants and/or neighbours.
Additional HMO licensing was introduced to cover HMOs which do not meet all the criteria for the national Mandatory HMO Licensing Scheme. If your property is an HMO with 3-4 sharers, and falls within a borough which has introduced this scheme it will most likely require an Additional HMO licence, though some councils have further stipulation. If you have 5+ sharers, you will most likely need a Mandatory HMO licence post 1st October, please click here for more information on Mandatory Licensing.
As mentioned above, not all boroughs have introduced an Additional HMO licensing scheme but they are currently operating in over a third of London boroughs. The first step is therefore to check whether your local council has introduced an Additional licensing scheme. You can either ask check via your local council website or simply ask us!
One of the ongoing complications in property licensing is the fact that each council can implement a licensing scheme in a different way, this is particularly prevalent in Additional licensing. For example, in some boroughs (such as Hammersmith and Fulham) all HMOs with 3-4 sharers will require an Additional HMO licence, unless they are exempt. However in Hounslow, you will only require an Additional licence for HMOs which contain 2 or more storeys and 4 or more sharers.
The first question many landlords find themselves asking is “Do I need an Additional HMO licence?” we can help you determine if your property falls within your council’s Additional licensing criteria.
While it is possible to navigate the Additional licensing process yourself, though we would advise against doing so. If you do choose to manage the process independently it is important to do so correctly, ensuring you familiarise yourself with all standards and council guidelines before applying for an Additional HMO licence. We offer a comprehensive service to help landlords and agents through the Additional licensing process, so the easiest option is to get in touch.
It is advisable to be aware of your local authorities specific HMO standards, as these tend to vary from council to council, before you apply for an Additional HMO licence. Our Local Authority Compliance Check can help you determine how compliant your property currently is in relation to your local authority’s standards and guidelines. It will highlight any specific issues that need to be addressed and identify any certification that needs to be in place in order obtain an Additional HMO licence.
The Housing Act 2004 also requires you to notify various ‘relevant persons’ that you are applying for an Additional licence. These persons must be informed of your application and you will be expected to supply their contact details to your local authority. Typically these are freeholders, leaseholders, landlords, mortgage providers, managing agents or anyone else involved in the property.
We can manage the entire Additional HMO licensing process on your behalf. Simply book a call below to speak to one of our highly competent professionals.