Council leaders have promised “enforcement” against Houses in Multiple Occupation after it was revealed just a third of the estimated total in Lincoln have applied for a licence under new laws brought in last October.
The figure was revealed at a meeting of the City of Lincoln executive last night, which showed that income from HMO licences had not brought in the predicted amount of money.
The council had budgeted to receive £61,000 by the end of quarter one of this year, however only brought in £47,000 – £14,000 less than expected.
The authority currently predicts a £93,260 “reduced income” from the licences.
Director for Communities and Environment Simon Walters said that the original predictions had been based on “everybody applying in the first two years”.
However, in reality just 300 of the 900 estimated HMOs in the city had applied.
“They haven’t all come forward so now it means we have to start enforcement action and identify them and bring those properties into the licensing regime,” said Mr Walters.
“It will take time to do, so that income will come in, but I think it will be over the five years opposed to the first two years.
“This isn’t income that’s lost, it’s income that’s going to come in at a different point in the five-year cycle.”
He said the council would begin a new campaign of advertising in the near future, but that the authority wanted to clear existing applications first.
However he added: “Ultimately we will end up enforcing against some properties.”
Government regulations , which came into force in October 2018, require that HMOs with five or more tenants to be licensed by the council.
Licenses cost from £850 for up to five people, and increase as the number of residents increases, however some discounts are available.
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