Changes to Glasgow HMO Licences
All new and renewed HMO licences for properties within Glasgow City Council’s boundaries are now subject to the new conditions of licensing.
Following a report published by the Licensing and Regulatory Committee on 6 March, Glasgow City Council has confirmed that the changes are now operable, and Licence Holders should be made aware of the new requirements. All the conditions will be integrated into a new code of conduct for HMO Licence Holders.
After a public consultation, Glasgow City Council identified issues with the high level of refuse associated with HMOs and bulk waste towards the end of the academic year, when students vacate their rental properties. Other problems found were that HMO landlords could be reluctant to contribute towards repairs in communal areas, and a rise in anti-social behaviour.
To address the issues identified in the report, Glasgow City Council has now introduced the following additional conditions to all HMO licences:
General Refuse Disposal
The Licence Holder must provide tenants with information leaflets on how to dispose of refuse and bulk items correctly. This should be provided no later than two days after the commencement date of the Tenancy Management Agreement.
The Licence Holder must also provide appropriate refuse facilities (in line with Glasgow City Council’s policy on storage and collection of refuse) for both general and recyclable waste, at all times in the communal areas surrounding the property. However, it is the responsibility of the tenant to dispose of the waste.
It is now also the responsibility of the Licence Holder to ensure that refuse facilities provided are always used appropriately by their tenants.
Maintenance, Insurance and Repairs of Common Areas
The new conditions place responsibility on the Licence Holder to act ‘reasonably’ regarding paying their share of maintenance, insurance and repairs costs of common areas and ‘in all dealings with other owners of the property and any relevant factor.’
Further requirements mean that the Licence Holder must ensure undisputed invoices, notification of their share of costs, insurance and repair costs (in respect of common areas) are paid in full and in adherence with payment terms.
All common areas must be regularly inspected, and where defects are found and brought to the Licence Holder’s attention, they should pay their share of remedying the issue.
The Licence Holder must make arrangements with the Council (or other collector) to remove bulk refuse, before items for collection are presented (either by the Licence Holder or the tenant).
If this is arranged with the Council, no less than seven days’ notice should be given, and bulk refuse for collection should be left outside of the property on the day of collection only.
All documentation regarding the collection should be retained for one month.
There is an implication that the Licence Holder must act reasonably when dealing with neighbouring residents of the property.
They must take reasonable steps to investigate complaints made by neighbours, if it relates to the behaviour of their tenants or their visitors.
Within 14 days of an HMO licence taking effect, the Council must be provided with a completed certificate of compliance from the Licence Holder. This certificate should confirm that all neighbours have been provided with emergency contact details of the Licence Holder and of the Council’s HMO Unit.
The Licence Holder must respond appropriately and timeously to any Statutory Notices served on them under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2006 and other relevant legislation including the Environmental Protection Act 1990, relating to the HMO and common areas.
Commenting, Chair of the Licensing and Regulatory Committee, Councillor Alex Wilson said: “Indiscriminate dumping of rubbish, refusing to pull your weight with the cost of repairs, failing to get a grip with noisy or anti-social tenants – these are the issues that upset other residents. By creating conditions of licence that focus on the issues of concern, we are setting out very clearly the standards we expect of our HMO landlords. The conditions will help to ensure we can take a more robust approach with licence holders who do not meet expected standards.”
A pilot project for bulk refuse disposal will run as part of the new proposals. Licence Holders will be required to notify the Council in advance of properties being cleared at the beginning and end of the academic year.
We look forward to the continued support of all our customers operating HMO’s from their properties and our factoring teams are here to answer any questions, or take forward any actions, relative to the maintenance, insurance and repairs of common areas.