What is Additional Licensing
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.
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.