What is Additional Licensing

Cabinet approved proposals in September to commence formal consultation on the implementation of Additional Licensing for HMOs (House of Multiple Occupancy). The private rented sector plays an important part in providing accommodation in the borough and in particular the role of HMOs.

These provide affordable accommodation for a range of people including those on lower income and single working professionals.

The borough has faced a major increase in private rented accommodation in some areas and it is recognised that there are some landlords and agents who do not provide adequate accommodation or management of their properties.This poor management of properties has a significant impact on people’s lives and on council and partner resources in tackling issues such as anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping of domestic waste, concerns about property condition and harassment and illegal eviction.

The council has implemented a range of powers and approaches to seek to address many of these issues including Additional Licensing within parts of West Bromwich but the ongoing pressures are such that an expansion of this approach is considered necessary.

The implementation of additional licensing schemes allow for these properties and their operation to be subject to proactive licensing requirements that would not otherwise be available.

Additional Licensing is a licensing scheme we are introducing in Sandwell which means that small Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO's) will need a licence. Any property with 3 or 4 people sharing amenities is classed as a small HMO. We will work with the landlord to see that the property is up to standard and ensure that it is safe to live in and that all the Licensing conditions and management regulations are adhered to.

Read our Additional Licensing Scheme Designation
Read our Public Notice
Apply for an Additional Licence 

Please note that if you want to save your application at any time then you will have to make a MySandwell account before you start the application. If you don't want to make a MySandwell account then please be aware that any progress that you have made on your application will not be saved.

Why are you doing it?

There has been a rapid growth in the number of all types of HMOs in the borough in recent years. Whilst most of them are of a good standard and well managed, a significant number are not. This has resulted in many problems in the property, with neighbours and in the surrounding areas, resulting in an increased number of complaints. The Private Sector Housing Team has also discovered that the landlords of many of these smaller HMOs do not even realise they are running HMOs either through ignorance, the fact that their tenants have moved someone in without telling them, or they have been subject to a Rent to Rent agreement which they may or not know about. 

Can you do that?

Yes, the 2004 Housing Act allows for Local Authorities to designate an area they consider would benefit from additional licensing. Read about the legislation.

How was this decided?

Sandwell Council ran a full consultation on Selective and Additional Licensing in the central West Bromwich area. The consultation commenced on 27 January 2020 and ended on 20 April 2020 (12 weeks in total). The consultation was extended and included online webinars in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Following the consultation, it was decided to pursue only the additional licensing option.