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Council Warns Landlords - big crackdown is coming this year!

A council is warning landlords of HMOs that they must meet all of their legal responsibilities ahead of a crackdown on unlicensed properties.

Gravesham council’s private housing team will be carrying out checks on HMOs in the borough later this year but is giving landlords the opportunity to work with them before then to ensure all the necessary documentation is in place so they are operating legally and without the fear of prosecution.

To successfully apply for a licence to operate an HMO, a landlord must show the building has:


- A valid gas safety record

- A valid five-year electrical installation condition report

- A valid fire detection test certificate

- A valid fire risk assessment

- A valid PAT certificate.

A council spokesperson says: “While the majority of private landlords in the borough ensure their properties meet all legal requirements, there are some who may not be fully aware of their responsibilities and a very small minority who may simply ignore those requirements.

“This is their opportunity to get their houses in order with the help of our Private Sector Housing team if they need advice and guidance.”

She says that later in the year council officers would be carrying out checks on suspected unlicensed HMOs and following up with enforcement action where appropriate, and inviting tenants to come forward in confidence if they have any concerns with their current accommodation. 

And she adds: “The penalties for managing an HMO without a licence are severe, with the potential of facing prosecution at magistrates’ court, an unlimited fine, a banning order, and being added to the rogue landlord database. I would urge any landlords who are in any doubt about whether their properties meet all the required standards to talk to us now, before we come calling on them later.”

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  • icon

    HMO’s are the new “ Bogie Man “ 😱🆘


    I don't have or want any, not the kind of renting I do


    I'm a big fan of HMO's and to be fair to Glasgow City Council, their HMO inspection department is pretty helpful and pragmatic.

    The Fire Service on the other hand frequently want things changed which were done at their request only 3 years earlier.

    The big benefit is significantly more rental income from the same square footage due to the additional tenants allowed under HMO legislation with my best flat growing from £550 per month in 2004 to £2800 in 2023 because of much less competition and much greater demand from desperate tenants.


    I like the money in HMO

  • icon

    When will these Councils learn. Rhetoric like this will get nowhere. Try working alongside Landlord's and get your own house in order.


    Another harrowing tale of a toddler murdered by the mother's boyfriend and neighbours' reports to the council and police disregarded many many times!

  • icon

    HMO disaster a complete loss maker with no advantages whatsoever for me and shouldn’t have applied to me in the place. I don’t let rooms but let the property as a whole and it wasn’t supposed to apply to single let’s in the beginning it was only in the last minute they included single let’s, (a group of friends talking the property together presumably all know each other). The Council’s had second thoughts that they would loose all this lovely money for nothing.
    So it’s they who invented individual room let’s / substandard living all nationalities’ cultures mixed up together sharing kitchens & Bathrooms with blank strangers, some big monster in one room & some little girl in the room adjacent scared for her life, never liked the concept. So I didn’t let rooms and got no extra money but landed with a load of costs of Certification’s, physical changes to the property and appliances, even second sinks so double cookers etc. So most have had 4 licensed application, how much is that alone + annual & 5
    yearly certs, even conservatively £1000. X 4 per property x 10 = £40k. All apart from the cost of doing the work required, what about all my running around, free work. dealing with everything no there’s has been no advantage but its been a distinct liability.

  • icon

    So the Article lists 5 things you you must have to make the Application at huge costs to you before you even sit down to do the Application or you can’t begin. Its actually more than that as I know to my cost but sure we can’t expect them to know, can I add 3more that I was required to have in order to make the application so it’s
    8 not 5, they also asked for EPC, Emergency light Certificate & copy of My Tenancy Agreement.
    Oh you must have the money as well silly me I nearly forgot.


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