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Birmingham Potentially Expanding HMO Licensing Scheme

Posted by Aisling Murphy in

Birmingham council are launching a consultation into an additional licensing scheme across the city that would include 12,000 properties in all 69 wards.

Currently, the council's licensing scheme covers 4,000 properties with five or more occupants.

The council is now seeking to improve the standards for smaller HMOs in the area. The changes would give additional powers to the authority to restrict properties to being converted into HMOs.

If implemented, landlords would need to pay a £755 proposed license fee for five years.

If approved, the scheme will launch in April 2023.

One of the major concerns that the scheme hopes to address is the potential links with increased crime levels.

Sajeela Naseer, the council's head of licensing, said: "We have gathered a lot of data over the years which shows a clear correlation between HMOs and antisocial behaviour, waste and some serious home hazards. Licence conditions would include requiring landlords to work with the council to tackle Anti-Social Behaviour arising from their properties, have appropriate waste management arrangements in place and ensure that their properties are safe".

Andy Thompson, councillor responsible for homes, adds: "We want to hear from as many people as possible about the proposed new scheme, particularly tenants living in HMOs and landlords who are responsible for them. Our research has shown that there are potentially 8,000 HMOs without a licence and that many are badly managed and give rise to a lot of anti-social behaviour.

"The licence would give the council extra powers to proactively identify HMOs and join up with other services such as the police to tackle the issues. This is why we believe that designating a citywide additional licensing area is the right course of action."

The proposal is now live for public feedback.