Major new HMO licencing scheme planned for Leicester, says student accommodation provider

Student accommodation firm Sulets says it has become aware of consultations currently being run by Leicester City Council (LCC) to impose further Article 4 restrictions on additional areas of the city.

If approved, says Sulets, this will stop further creation of HMO properties in those areas irrespective of whether the proposed property needs a licence or not.

Sulets says that following a meeting of the Overview Select Committee on the 10 November, the council has approved holding a consultation on extended licencing to all rented properties in specific areas of the city – commonly known as Selective Licencing. With Selective Licensing, the council can extend licensing to up to 20% of the city or, this can be city-wide with permission from the Secretary of State.

The current mandatory licencing regime only applies to HMOs with over five tenants who do not form a family. The new scheme would apply to any property irrespective of how big it is or who it was rented to. It would apply equally to a two-bed house with a small family or a house with four students. There will be a proposed charge of £1000 for a licence which will last for five years, claims Sulets.

A statement from the company said: “Clearly, this is a massive change and will impact all landlords in the areas affected.

“It should be noted that at this stage this is a policy paper, but the policy has been passed and the timeline for this to go to public consultation starts in 2022.”

Leicester City Council has been contacted for comment.