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Shock 58 per cent rise in licensing fee imposed by council

A new private rental licensing regime in a London borough is being described as “a major step forward in improving living standards” - but comes with a 58 per cent rise in some fees for buy to let investors and professional landlords.

The new additional licensing scheme introduced this week by Enfield council includes most HMOs in the borough. 

This extends licensing to an estimated 8,000 HMOs including shared houses, shared flats and bedsit HMOs occupied by three or more people who are not all related. 


This goes beyond the mandatory HMO licensing scheme which is restricted to most HMOs occupied by five or more people.

Meanwhile the council has increased its mandatory HMO licence application fees for properties with five lettings, rising from £697 to £1,100 - that’s an increase of 58 per cent. 

Larger HMOs are being charged at a higher rate according to the number of lettings.

The cost of an additional licence application is a fixed fee of £900 per property, with all application fees payable in two instalments.

A council spokesman says: “Having a licence will allow landlords to demonstrate that they provide decent quality accommodation for tenants, and we will work with landlords to support them to achieve the licence conditions.

“We believe the scheme will improve the reputation of private landlords, as well as Enfield’s reputation for providing quality housing. The scheme is a major step forward in improving living standards for many Enfield residents.”

However, it is thought that a selective licensing scheme which the council had wanted to introduce - and which it had consulted on - has yet to be approved by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. 

Poll: Are licensing fees....


  • girish mehta

    How is raising licensing fees improve housing standards . The landlords will simply pass this as rents, and added cost leaves less for the landlords to spend on house improvement.
    Simply a wrong policy . Councils need to work with landlords to improve the standards. This is another attempt for council to fleece landlords.

  • James B




  • icon
    • 03 September 2020 08:57 AM

    Nothing wrong with Selective Licensing if it is allegedly to improve standards.

    But such a licence only needs to be £100 per property every 5 years.
    Few LL would object to that.

    It isn't so much the principle of licensing it is the outrageous costs.
    Good LL have no problems with being inspected etc

    Patrick  Rodgers


  • icon

    And here it begins. We need money and who’s an easy target. They have all the power they need for enforcement and standards. Cash grab legalised theft.

  • Kristjan Byfield

    I have not seen any pro-active enforcement by any council to identify and target the cause of this legislation- rogue landlords and dangerous properties. The applications teams are under staffed- we received an application decision last week that was submitted to Hackney in October 2018! All councils have rolled out an array of 'additional licensing' with most now requiring a license for any let with 3 people from 2 or more families. An absolute disgrace, much like much of our regulation and licensing- looks good on paper, makes gov/councils look like they are being pro-active- but there is no effective enforcement. Can anyone explain to me my 3 people from the same family would be safe in an 'unchecked/unlicensed' property but that 3 people from 2+ households could be in mortla danger and need protecting with a license? Anyone?

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Lets also not forget that Enfield is the Borough that launched its own lettings agency years ago- it closed in under 2 years having lost hundreds of thousands. An utter shambolic disgrace of an initiative.


    Enfield is world class at wasting money on shambolic schemes and clawing it back wherever they can. Disgraceful is an understatement

    Patrick  Rodgers

    That's because it were run by idiots

  • Mark Wilson

    Of course, I never thought if it till now, Central government don't want mum and pop landlords so local government have a clear route for extra revenue. Nice work if you can get it!

  • icon
    • D G
    • 03 September 2020 10:11 AM

    Has anyone seen the process for the justification for these figures?

    • 03 September 2020 10:58 AM

    Councils DON'T need that.
    They just need the money and will hit LL come what may.
    They know they won't lose any votes hitting LL.
    They might if LL explain why rents are increasing or why they are being evicted as the LL is selling up!

    Trouble is few tenants will ever make the connection so they will still vote Labour.


    Helping to fund the wage bill of a badly run local council that pays their leader more than the PM and a fair few others in excess of £100k pa might be a good place to start

  • Matthew Payne

    I am not sure why councils of all organisations think they are capable of running a compliance operation for anything, let alone something as complicated as lettings. The flaw in the local government system is it's based on territory not on expertise. Just because it's in your patch, doesnt mean you know how to look after something. It would be no different to a lettings agent announcing they are starting a licensing scheme for off shore wind farms or diesel emmissions, they wouldn't have clue, but at least they are generally process orientated and good administrators.

    My experience of councils over the years has been poor, whether planning, tax, selective licensing, building control etc. Always delays, always mistakes and always expensive. To compound a distinct lack of capability with shocking administration is cheeky to say the least at £1100 a pop, but then to be fair noone recognises this as anything other than a coffer filler, and the 58% increase is simply lockdown driven. Not enough car parks or swimming pools have been open.


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