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Changes to HMO licensing fees from 1 Sept

Tue 31 Aug 2021


We have been advised there will be some changes to HMO licensing fees that will take effect from 1 September 2021. The Housing Enforcement Team sits within the Shared Regulatory Service for Cardiff, Bridgend and Vale of Glamorgan Councils.

The most important change is that the HMO licensing fee will now be taken in 2 parts, in accordance with the scheme endorsed by the Supreme Court in R (Hemming, t/a Simply Pleasure Ltd) v Westminster CC [2015] (referred to as a ‘Hemmings’ fee structure):

· Part 1 – a fee levied at the point of application, to cover the costs of processing the application; and

· Part 2 – if the application is successful, a further fee to cover the costs of running and enforcing the scheme.

The first part of the fee will be £160 and this will be payable with the application. Upon submitting the application you will be contacted with payment details regarding bank transfer or paying by card over the phone. You can also send a cheque with the application if you prefer to submit a print version of the application by post. At the time of application you will be asked specify who the Council should contact for the remainder of the balance, either yourself as the landlord, or Moginie James if we're your managing agency.

When the inspection has been carried out, a draft of the licence will be issued as usual for you to consider and make representations. You will be notified of the remaining balance of the fee at this point and the full licence will only be issued upon receipt of the remaining fee. The amount of the remaining fee balance will depend upon the size of the property and whether it complies with HMO licensing standards.

The effect of this is that landlords who comply will benefit from proportionately lower fees while the higher fees will help the local authority resource the enforcement of standards within non-compliant properties.

The fees are outlined in the table below. You will note that there is one exception where a licence is effectively being “transferred” from one owner to a new owner for the remaining term of the licence and where that HMO is fully compliant with licensing standards.

Initial Application fee

2nd payment if compliant following inspection

2nd payment if non-compliant

following inspection

Total  fee compliant

Total fee non-compliant







Plus an additional charge per flat

Small flat up to 2 bedrooms per flat


+£40 per flat

+£70 per flat



Large flat – 3 or more bedrooms


+£50 per flat

+£90 per flat



HMO Shared House or single flat up to 4 bedrooms






HMO Shared House or single flat (5 to 9 bedrooms)






HMO Shared House or single flat (10-15 bedrooms)






HMO Shared House or single flat (15+bedrooms)






New owner of compliant property and application (Existing licence terms and conditions)






Or single payment of £100 with the application

Application forms and guidance can be found here (English) or (Cymraeg).

Please note that the Cathays additional licensing scheme is effectively “on hold”. The 5 year period of the scheme expired on 1 January 2021. The Council must consult stakeholders before declaring any further scheme and will aim to carry out that consultation later this year. In the meantime, all licences issued under the scheme remain valid until the 5 year period specified on the individual licence expires. So by way of an example, a licensed issued under the Cathays scheme in 2020 will continue in force until 2025 and will not require renewal until that date even if the Cathays scheme is re-declared.

The Plasnewydd (Roath) Additional Licensing Scheme went live for a second time on 1 January 2021 for 5 years and all HMOs within that district must be licensed, unless of course they already have a licence in place. Mandatory licensing of larger HMOs continues to apply across the City to HMOs having a minimum of 3 storeys and 5 or more occupiers.

If you have any queries, please get in touch with your nearest Moginie James branch.

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