Student Advice Centre: Help us catch unlicensed Landlords

Newcastle City Council would like your help to find out the landlords who might be dodging their responsibilities.

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Landlord Licensing

NUSU and Newcastle City Council would like your help to find the landlords who might be avoiding their responsibilities by letting out unlicensed HMO's.

What is an HMO? 

  • It stands for House in Multiple Occupancy and in very general terms is a property with at least 3 unrelated tenants sharing facilities such as?a toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities,   
  • Licensed HMO is a larger HMO with 5 or more unrelated tenants sharing facilities such as?a toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities.   This is a legal requirement. 
However Local councils can extend licensing to include some of the smaller HMOs and this is precisely what Newcastle City Council did in April 2020.  So, the vast majority of properties where 3 or more people live now also fall under the scope of licensing – many occupied by students. 
Licensing doesn’t apply to University and Private Halls and properties where only two people share. 

What can I do? 

  • If you are ‘house hunting’ check to see if a licence is posted up somewhere in the property or ask the landlord or agent if there is one. They last 5 years and look like the example on the right.
  • If you are moving in check to see if a licence is posted up somewhere in the property. If there is, check it hasn’t lapsed.   
  • If there isn’t one or it has lapsed, you can report this on the NUSU Student Advice Centre form

Why should I care? 

The City Council Public Protection and Neighbourhoods team explain: 

‘In April 2020 a new Licensing scheme came into force which requires privately rented properties in the city to have a licence. Prior to this some properties fell within the licensing scheme, but now approximately 13,000 properties in the city need a licence. Landlords and managing agents of licenced properties need to ensure the property meets certain standards, and it needs to be well-managed. Newcastle City Council is currently looking for any property that needs a licence but does not have one. A landlord is committing a criminal offence if they have a licensable property but an application for a licence has not been submitted’. 
Newcastle City Council Public Protection and Neighbourhoods Team 
  • If a landlord isn’t complying with this there might be other things they aren’t complying with such as deposit protection.  
  • Ensuring Landlords comply should drive up standards, drive out rogue landlords and keep you safe and comfortable in your tenancy.   
  • If a property should have been licensed and isn’t, you might be eligible to apply for a Rent Repayment Order like one of our previous clients who had this to say: 
The Student Advice Centre ‘was invaluable during the course of my RRO case and I can say without any doubt that the case would not have been successful without their guidance’ 

Complete our HMO License reporting form to be in with a chance of winning one of five £10 vouchers from a business of your choice listed on President Recommends

For more Housing information and advice look over our Housing Advice pages