York HMO license conditions to be reconsidered

City of York Council’s third, five-year Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) licensing programme is to be considered at Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods on 16 December.

The programme aims to further improve the sector by ensuring that homes meet expected standards and are well-managed, and the session will also consider streamlining and making the scheme more cost effective.

The first two schemes operated from 2006 and 2011. The new scheme that will run from 2016, is proposed to have a new condition: licence holders must demonstrate that they have the required up-to-date knowledge and skills to operate a HMO. They should be able to show that they have attended, as a minimum, a one-day professional development course provided by the council, or alternative courses which have been recognised by the council as meeting the necessary standards.

In addition, applicants could be incentivised to ensure their license is renewed in good time. Where they can provide evidence to demonstrate that they have attended and passed an appropriate course, the cost of the training will be deducted from the licence fee. A discount is being considered for landlords and managers submitting multiple applications at the same time. This will reflect the reduced amount of time the council will need to spend processing them. Introducing a penalty fee is also being considered when the council identifies an unregistered HMO and brings it into the licensing scheme. Where licence holders are renewing their licence for the same property and within the recommended time limit, a lower fee could be charged. Equally, when an incomplete or late application is received, the full fee could be charged.

The Executive Member for Housing and Safer Neighbourhoods’ Decision Session will take place on Wednesday 16 December at West Offices from 3pm and is open to members of the public or is available to watch later online from: www.york.gov.uk/webcasts

To find out more about the report, or to attend, visit: http://modgov.york.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=9110&x=1

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