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Birmingham proceeds with HMO licensing expansion despite opposition

birmingham hmo||

Birmingham council has concluded its consultation into an additional licensing scheme across the city that would include 9,500 properties in all 69 wards.

Following a full cabinet meeting report on the scheme's consultation which included several landlords sessions organised by the NRLA, the council is to proceed with the scheme unaltered despite nearly half of landlords and letting agents who responded saying they opposed it.

The council's existing mandatory licensing scheme covers 4,000 larger properties with five or more occupants but it now hopes to improve standards in smaller HMOs. Landlords will soon need to pay a �755 licence fee under the scheme which could go live as early as 1st April.

Biggest scheme

In March last year, the council approved the UK's biggest selective licensing scheme and is now waiting for Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove to give it the go-ahead. Landlords across 25 wards including North Edgbaston, South Yardley and Sparkhill are set to need a licence in a scheme covering 40,000 properties.

Sajeela Naseer (pictured), the council's head of licensing, says years of data-gathering shows a clear correlation between HMOs and antisocial behaviour, waste and some serious home hazards.

She adds: 'Licence conditions would include requiring landlords to work with the council to tackle anti-social behaviour arising from their properties, to have appropriate waste management arrangements in place and ensure that their properties are safe.'�

Anti-social behaviour

Councillor Sharon Thompson (pictured), cabinet member for homes and homelessness, says it wants to hear from tenants living in HMOs and landlords who are responsible for them.

'Our research has shown that there are potentially 8,000 HMOs without a licence and that many are badly managed and give rise to a lot of anti-social behaviour,'� says Thompson.

'The licence would give the council extra powers to proactively identify HMOs and join up with other services such as the police to tackle the issues. This is why we believe that designating a city-wide additional licensing area is the right course of action.'�

Read the council report in full.


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