Important announcement regarding the application and renewal of HMO licences in Leeds

26/04/2012

The below statement was sent to us from the chairman of the RLAAS for and on behalf of the Leeds Landlord Accreditation Scheme. All Landlords that own a property with a HMO licence should read the below statement carefully.

You may have heard that the Government is about to relax the requirements when you re-licence a house in multiple occupation. In Leeds the first tranche of the renewals is about to come up. On the 22nd May around 350 licences fall due for renewal.

THE KEY POINT IS THIS - YOU MUST LODGE A VALID APPLICATION WITH THE COUNCIL BEFORE THE LICENCE EXPIRES.

If you have a licence which expires on 22nd May 2012 a new licence application must be received by the Council no later than close of business on the 21st May 2012. If you let the licence run out without lodging a fresh application you are breaking the law and potentially liable for prosecution. Your tenant may be able to claim a refund of rent. It is, therefore, very important that you make sure that your application is lodged in time. This is your responsibility.

At the moment, Leeds City Council require a full application with property details and a plan.

We do not yet know when the new regulations will come into force and, until they are actually in force, the current rules must be followed if you apply to re-licence the property. You must, therefore, use the existing form of licence including providing property details/plan.

We anticipate that the new regulations will come into force some time towards the end of May but quite probably not in time for the three hundred and fifty licences which are due for renewal. Leeds Residential Property Forum are liaising both with Leeds City Council and the Government on this issue. In agreement with the Council, firm advice to all members in this position who have licences which expire on 22nd May 2012 is to apply now using the current forms. Do not wait for the new form to come into effect because there is a good chance that it will be too late.

When in force, the new form will dispense with full property details. It will mean that instead you will have to declare all changes in the property which have taken place since you originally applied for your licence back in 2007 (or earlier). For example, if you have installed a fire alarm protection system you will have to disclose that. You will not have to provide a plan, however. This new format will still mean that you have to give personal details e.g. disclose any criminal convictions. YOU CAN ONLY USE THE NEW FORM ONCE THE NEW REGULATIONS HAVE COME INTO FORCE AND NOT BEFORE. You must use the current forms at the moment.

The Forum advice for you is that if you are a landlord of one of the three hundred and fifty properties affected in that your licence expires in May 2012 or if your licence runs out before the new procedures are put in place then carry on and get the current forms filled in and above all MAKE SURE YOU LODGE THEM IN TIME BEFORE YOUR CURRENT LICENCE RUNS OUT.

Leeds City Council will also be distributing information to all licence holders about the change over in the application process.

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