Updated regulation

26th January 2024

This month, there have been two updates to regulations affecting landlords.

New enforcement charges.
BHCC have introduced charges for issuing ‘Improvement Notices’ to landlords who fail to carry out work to make sure private rented homes meet required standards.

The initiative to improve privately rented homes in the city was introduced on the 2 January 2024 and applies when the council issue improvement notices and other notices under the Housing Act 2004 and our Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy.

The main challenges this approach will tackle, are potential hazards which need to be resolved, such as serious mould, broken stairs etc. The charges will be determined on a case-by-case basis. A breakdown of the charges, and fines can be found here:  https://bit.ly/BHCCimprovements-chargesbreakdown

New wording around council tax 
Additionally, the government have introduced new national legislation, whereby professional HMO/ individually contracted house landlords, will be defaulted to pay the council tax. The update was released on December 1st 2023, with the aim to simplify the rules around council tax for some HMO’s, however the update has caused a lot of confusion thanks to the use and meaning of the word ‘owner.’ Please follow the link to read iHowz (The Professional Association for Landlords) fact sheet, which explains this further. Ultimately, the landlord is responsible for council tax on a HMO property where the tenants are on individual tenancy agreements, however there are still various circumstances and grey areas where the council could argue this legislation does or does not apply. It appears on release, the update has had immediate effect and is applicable to existing tenancies. We are currently liaising with the council on behalf of our landlords, as many landlords feel (and we agree) it is unfair practice to apply this to current tenancies. Most legislation affecting lettings is introduced with staggered implementation, ensuring there is adequate time to apply it to existing tenancies. If you are uncertain if you are now liable for council tax on your HMO, please get in touch.

Fact Sheet: https://bit.ly/LLGuideCouncilTax
Youtube Video: https://bit.ly/CouncilTaxHMO 

For more information, please follow the links:

In addition to the above, we are eagerly waiting an update following the consultation to introduce two new licensing schemes in the city, which closed on 3rd January 2024.
For more information on the proposals, click here to read our article. We’ll keep you updated once we know more!