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Whats New for Landlords

This page is regularly updated to bring the latest news for landlords on housing matters of interest and importance.

 

Additional HMO Licensing - The Council took the decision on 23rd January 2013 to introduce Additional Licensing of HMOs within the Borough.  The decision was based on the responses to the consultation, to introduce additional licensing across the borough carried out between October and December 2012. This will have wide ranging implications for landlords of affected properties. The information on this page is designed to help landlords who may need to register with the Council to obtain a licence.

You can view the Executive Committee report and supporting documentation by clicking the links below:

 

Executive Record of Decisions

Executive Report

Equality Analysis

 

The scheme begins on 6th May 2013 - you can pre-register for an application and give us details of your properties by emailing hmolicensing@bedford.gov.uk  Please ensure you head your email HMO additional licensing. All landlords who are currently registered with us or on our database will receive their application pack soon, giving plenty of time to apply.

 

We are currently surveying, house to house across all areas of the borough where we will be seeking out HMOs that we need to check - so any HMOs not known to us should be identified in the forthcoming months. When we call we will either confirm the occupation from occupying tenants or we may leave a letter explaining what you need to do. Please send an email to hmolicensing@bedford.gov.uk or call the hotline 01234 718516 and leave your details. We will call you straight back.

 

The fees for landlords to pay have been changed to reflect comments received during the consultation:

  • Discounted fee of £285.00 per property - for application during the first year of the scheme, up to 5th May 2014.
  • Full fee after 6th May 2014 will be £500 per property.
  • Discounts will be available for landlords with more then one property in line with current charging policy.

 

There will be an extra fee to pay if you do not complete the application correctly and supply the documents required - this represents the extra costs of chasing you up and reminding you to provide the documents or information. This extra fee will be 20% of the cost.

 

Landlords of HMOs who belong to the University accreditation scheme or another recognised scheme will be grandfathered in (no form filling) for the reduced fee as long as we do not need to chase up any information.

 

We are producing a 'landlords guide' which will be made available very soon (end January/early February 2013) for download or sending by post.

 

Licensing is about your management of the property. Once you have successfully received your licence, the information will allow us to prioritise an inspection of the HMO to check the matters we know are important - the condition and safety of the house, gas, fire, electricity and to make sure the facilities you provide are in good order. We will inspect your HMO after the licence is issued, so you can wait for us to contact you. Or if you prefer to have an inspection sooner and know if any works are required, you can ask us to arrange your inspection.

 

Landlords of larger portfolios can ask to arrange a meeting with us, at your convenience and location - we are happy to help and support you and explain anything you need to know.

 

It is not necessary to do anything now. Revisit this website in the upcoming months to check for new information. If you register your details you will automatically get your application pack.

 

Remember for more information email hmolicensing@bedford.gov.uk or phone 01234 718516.

 

Good Practice Guide - The Council's Good Practice Guide has now been adopted. Changes in the government's rules means that Councils may adopt standards for housing based on the  'prescribed standards' set out in the Housing Act 2004 and associated regulations. Bedford Borough Council has put together a practical guide which is useful for both landlords, tenants and other housing professional. It brings together all the relevant legislation and guidance in one document.

Please click here to download the Good Practice Guide Adopted.


HMO Loans Approved - following extensive work by the housing team and the grants and loans team the Council has decided to change policy on loans for landlords of HMOs to reflect the problems of financing fire safety works for HMOs before letting. The decision allows landlords to request financial assistance which gives them an interest free loan with a payment holiday of 2 years up front. This will help landlords who are new to the sector, buying new and unconverted property and also landlords who need to update old fire safety systems to keep pace with new industry standards.

Interest free loans have also been approved for any essential works which are required to protect the health, safety and welfare of occupying tenants - specifically works to put right those housing defects that, when risk assessment is carried out, give a category 1 hazard rating.

Loans are discretionary and landlords must agree to conditions before approval, including accepting nominations from the Council's housing waiting list for any vacancies.

More information can be obtained by contacting the housing enforcement team on 01234 718099 or email ehadmin@bedford.gov.uk 

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This section provides helpful housing advice for people interested in and currently living in the borough. You can find information on private and social housing, related support services and homelessness.

 


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