likely to effect communities
In August, BANES council very quietly announced a major change in regulations that is likely to make a huge difference to communities across the city and in the local property market too. Carey Gilliland, Director, Madison Oakley, explains more.
Bath and North East Somerset Council introduced an Additional Licensing scheme on the 1st January 2014 and extended on the 1st of January 2019 city wide for another five years. Landlords needed a license under this scheme if the property was occupied by three or four people of 2+ different households (usually sharers and more commonly called a HMO/House of Multiple Occupancy). This was on top of existing rules for 5 bed+ HMOs (Compulsory Licensing).
When BANES first brought in Additional Licensing, the benefits they stated included;
A consistent approach to safety and property conditions for tenants
More professional management of HMOs in the local community will be encouraged
Easy access to a public register of HMOs so local residents can find out where they are and who manages them to allow any problems to be tackled quickly
Reducing the impact that large concentrations of HMOs have on the local area
As of mid August this year, BANES have announced that this Additional Licensing scheme will not be extended in January 2024. This would seem good news for landlords in the first instance as they will be saving hundreds of pounds each year in license fees but there are likely to be wider effects that are less obvious.
Communities may well be concerned at this news that this leaves the door open for further proliferation of student houses in hitherto protected areas (unlikely as planning permission for change of use should still be required and difficult to obtain on saturation grounds) but the big question is over monitoring and enforcement of housing standards for the tenants that live in these newly de-licensed properties and the residents that live around them .
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