Two-week countdown: Are councils ready for the imminent HMO licensing changes?

Following years of consultation and review, today (17 September) marks two weeks to the introduction of the new Mandatory HMO Licensing rules, with the number of properties requiring licences expected to treble.

Recent research and opinion from across the sector has speculated that factors such as lack of national publicity and inadequate online information are causes for concern ahead of the new legislation coming into force. This year’s Better Connected ‘Apply for a Landlord Licence’ survey has already reported that 65% of local authorities in London boroughs and metropolitan districts had poor or unsatisfactory information about the property licensing application process on their websites.

With the changes coming into force on 1 October 2018, local government and landlords are expected to feel the impact of a predicted 160,000 additional HMO licences nation-wide, as the Government attempts to rid the private rented sector of ‘rogue landlords’ in the interests of tenant safety and building better communities.

As councils prepare for the additional administrative responsibilities, accommodating a process that can vary significantly from case to case is a challenge that needs to be addressed. Whilst a potentially obvious solution is to adopt a digital approach that supports process automation, the same Better Connected survey results recognised that at the time of review, only 36% of the sites studied enabled online applications for HMO licences.

The Idox Digital Platform tackles the end-to-end process from licence application submission through to inspection and approval, with local authorities able to sync incoming data to the back office while providing a seamless online experience for landlords in their area. Councils across the country are already investing in the Platform to realise efficiencies and cater for expected service demand in light of the upcoming HMO legislation changes and anticipated volume increase.

For more information about Idox’s available solutions and support for HMO Licensing, please: