Portsmouth widens HMO licensing scheme

Portsmouth council has committed to widening its additional licensing scheme to account for around 4,000 more three and four bed houses.

Previously only HMOs with at least five occupants required a license.

Portsmouth and District Private Landlord Association previously warned against extending the licensing scheme, saying it will push up prices for tenants and disincentivise smaller HMOs.

The scheme will launch on 1st September 2023, though those with smaller HMOs seen as well managed during the licence application process will be eligible for a cheaper five-year licence of £746 per year.

This will compare to £772 for a two and a half year licence, or £1,035 for a one-year licence.

Jason Fazackarley, cabinet member for safety in the community, said: “We are grateful to more than 1,000 people who responded to the public consultation, and unsurprisingly there were some strong views expressed from our city’s landlords.

“We’ve listened to their concerns, particularly about the burden that licences put on landlords who are already providing excellent homes for their tenants.

“One aspect of the policy change we will debate will be introducing a tiered approach to these new licences if we decide to implement them.

“This would allow landlords we see providing good properties to hold licences for longer, cost them less and with fewer inspections than those who perform poorly and require regular review.”

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