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Changes to HMO Licensing in Swansea areas

10th November 2020

swansea HMO license changes

An additional HMO Licensing scheme for the Castle, Uplands and the St Thomas areas of Swansea has been agreed by Swansea council on 4th November 2020 with the licensing policy taking effect from 15th February 2021. The additional HMO licensing will continue in the Castle and Uplands wards for a further five years and St Thomas wards will see the licensing terms being introduced.

This is in place to improve standards by working with landlords and it has been confirmed that the license fees will go towards funding more HMO officers.

What does this HMO Licensing change mean for landlords?

From the 15th February 2021, owners of all HMOs in St Thomas (and not just the larger ones that already fall within the mandatory licensing regime) will need to apply for a HMO license. The Additional HMO Licensing (Castle, Uplands and St Thomas) Scheme 2021 will replace the existing Additional HMO Licensing (Castle and Uplands) Scheme 2016. 

What do the new HMO licensing rules include?

  • a limit on the length of a licence where planning permission is pending
  • changes to licence conditions covering external appearance of properties, minimum energy efficiency standards, initial provision of refuse and recycling bags for new tenants and the introduction of a requirement for carbon monoxide alarms in living accommodation with appliances that burn solid fuel, mains gas or LPG fuel.

What about if you have an existing HMO license?

The changes being introduced next February will not apply retrospectively to existing HMO licences so if you currently hold an HMO licence for a property in Swansea there will be no changes for that licence until you apply for or have a licence issued to you after 15 February 2021.

Will the fees be changing?

The existing fee structure will be looked at, but the existing fees have not yet been changed.

What should I do next?

If you manage a licensed HMO, you need to be aware of the changes.

If you own an HMO in St Thomas that will need a license from 15 February 2021, you do not need to do anything yet.

Further resources: 

Council report and new HMO Licensing Policy 2020

If you would like to discuss your HMO property and how Seraph can help you manage these specialised portfolios, we cover property management Swansea Please don’t hesitate to contact us.