The council proposes to introduce an additional licensing scheme of Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) in the 12 wards that make up central Bristol – Ashley, Bishopston & Ashley Down, Central, Clifton, Clifton Down, Cotham, Easton, Hotwells & Harbourside, Lawrence Hill, Redland, Southville and Windmill Hill.
A public consultation to introduce a proposed additional licensing scheme of HMOs in the 12 central wards of Bristol was undertaken earlier this year. This would affect most HMOs with three or more unrelated people who share a rented property. The consultation finished in May 2018; its findings and the full proposal document have been published on our website bristol.gov.uk/licensingscheme
Since we consulted earlier this year, a High Court case (R Gaskin v Richmond-upon-Thames LBC 
) has determined that this type of proposed HMO licensing scheme (Part 2, Housing Act 2004
) is an authorisation scheme and is subject to European legislation (EU Services Directive 2006
). In order to comply with this directive the council is required to review the way it structures the proposed property licence fees.
The original fee structure that formed part of the above consultation was a one-off, overall payment covering all elements of licensing from beginning to end. However, this High Court ruling means that the property licence fee must now be split into two parts:
Part 1- Processing the application:
this part of the fee, payable upon application, only covers the cost of obtaining authorisation under the scheme, i.e. processing the licence application.
Part 2 - Enforcement and administration:
this part of the fee is levied only on successful applicants, to cover the remaining costs of administration and enforcement.
In addition, in order to comply with the above directive the council will no longer be able to include a significantly increased fee for late applications. The effect is that the cost of licensing proposed is now spread more evenly across the whole of the fee structure.
There has also been a reduction in the numbers of properties now expected to require a licence in the area from 5,500 to 4,300
properties. The reduction is factored into the fee calculation.
As a result of this ruling and the comments from our earlier consultation the council has restructured its fee proposal.