Consultation on introducing a borough wide additional licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Closes 18 Mar 2024

Opened 8 Jan 2024

Overview

Sandwell Council want your views on a proposal to extend the licensing of Houses In Multiple Occupation borough wide to improve the local environment and housing conditions for privately rented properties operated this way.

This survey will only take around 10 minutes to complete.

The consultation opens on Monday 8th January 2024 and closes on Monday 18th March 2024. The results and final recommendations will be reported back to the Council once the consultation responses have been collated. If you have any questions, then please email landlord_licensing@sandwell.gov.uk

What is property licensing?

Local Councils can choose to require private landlords or their managing agents to have a licence to rent out their property. A licence usually lasts for five years. The licence conditions state that landlords must keep their property safe and well maintained as well as deal with any problems associated with the property such as dumped rubbish, untidy gardens or anti-social behaviour.

The Housing Act 2004 sections 254 - 260 provides a definition of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO). An HMO is defined in law as a house or flat in which three or more unrelated persons forming two or more households share an amenity such as a bathroom, toilet or cooking facilities. This includes shared houses and bedsits. A ‘household’ is defined as either a single person or members of the same family who are living together.

There are two types of licensing schemes that cover HMOs:

Mandatory Licensing Since 2004, all Councils have had to run a licensing scheme for HMOs. Any property with five or more people living as two or more households as well as sharing amenities (kitchen, bathroom, shower room etc) will require an HMO Licence. 

Additional Licensing – Councils can introduce Additional Licensing to cover any other type of HMO in their area, which is rented out by at least 3 people who are not from 1 ‘household’ (for example a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen.

Sandwell Council is proposing to introduce an Additional Licensing scheme across the whole borough. The scheme would cover any other type of HMO in the area that does not fall under the existing Mandatory Licensing scheme. This means that any HMO that is rented out by at least 3 people who are not from 1 ‘household’ (for example a family) but share facilities like the bathroom and kitchen, would need to be licensed. 

Landlords will have to pay a licensing fee for each property they rent out to tenants. The fee will cover the cost of the scheme and allows the Council to check the condition of private rented properties in the area to make sure that the correct management arrangements are being carried out.

Sandwell Council believes that extending their current licensing scheme to cover all HMOs in Sandwell will:

  • Improve living arrangements for many tenants by improving the condition of properties.
  • Reduce property related crime, anti-social behaviour and rubbish dumping.
  • Support good landlords and remove rogue landlords from operating in the borough.
  • Improve the image of the area, making it a desirable place to live.

Before making a decision, the Council wants to hear your views about the proposals and any alternatives they could consider. We would specifically like to hear from private tenants, landlords, letting and managing agents, residents and businesses and organisations operating in the borough and surrounding areas.

Prior to responding to this questionnaire, we strongly encourage you to read the supporting information about the proposed scheme, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

The consultation is being analysed and reported on by an independent organisation, M·E·L Research. Information you provide will only be used for research purposes and you will not be personally identifiable in any reports, however organisations may be identifiable.

M·E·L Research and the Council will hold all information securely and strictly in line with the Data Protection Act 2018 and the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). Please visit the following to read our privacy notices: https://www.sandwell.gov.uk/privacynotice & https://melresearch.co.uk/privacy-policy 

Please note the event details below whereby you will have an opportunity to discuss the proposal with Sandwell MBC Officers.

You will have the opportunity to register for an event at the end of the online survey, however if you don't have time to complete the consulation and would like to attend one of the events shown below, then please email sandwellprs@melresearch.co.uk indicating which event you will be attending so we can manage numbers at each venue.

 

 

Give us your views

Events

  • Landlords Forum, Smethwick Mencap, Derrick Patterson Building, Price St, Smethwick B66 3QR

    From 23 Jan 2024 at 18:30 to 23 Jan 2024 at 19:30

    In Person Consultation on introducing a borough wide additional licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

  • Smethwick Fire Station, Stony Lane, Smethwick B67 7QW

    From 8 Feb 2024 at 18:30 to 8 Feb 2024 at 19:30

    In Person Consultation on introducing a borough wide additional licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

  • Haden Cross Fire Station, Halesowen Rd, Cradley Heath B64 7JU

    From 20 Feb 2024 at 18:30 to 20 Feb 2024 at 19:30

    In Person Consultation on introducing a borough wide additional licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

  • SMBC, Oldbury Chambers, Freeth Street, Oldbury, B69 3ED

    From 4 Mar 2024 at 18:30 to 4 Mar 2024 at 19:30

    In Person Consultation on introducing a borough wide additional licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs)

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Open Consulation

Interests

  • Legislation to Engage