Building standards - building warrant fee model: research project

The purpose of this study is to develop proposals and a model that can be used to deliver a funding model that is flexible and can be adjusted to allow changes to building warrant fees in Scotland.


Annex A HMO and STL Data

Table 1 Comparison of STL, HMO and Building Control Charging in England and Wales

Period of license

Short Term Lets

Up to 3 years

HMO

Up to 3 years and no less than 6 months Fee cost coverage

Fee cost coverage

Short Term Lets

  • Establishment costs include:
    • setting up the scheme
    • training staff to operate the scheme
  • Running costs include:
    • processing applications and renewals
    • issuing licences
    • undertaking site visits
    • handling complaints
    • monitoring and enforcement

HMO

  • Cost of granting a licence could include:
    • administration to process application
    • visits to premises as part of the authorisation process (officer time & travel)
    • local democracy costs (expenses in arranging and holding committee meetings to consider applications)
  • Licence maintenance costs could include:
    • monitoring and inspection visits
    • enforcement costs (complaints and non-compliant businesses)

LABC

  • Total cost of carrying out the building control service should include:
    • Employee costs
    • Premises-related expenditure
    • Transport-related expenditure
    • Supplies and services
    • Third party payments (e.g. other LAs, private contractors)
    • Support services (e.g. finance. IT, HR)
    • Depreciation and impairment losses

Chargeable activities

Short Term Lets

  • licence applications
  • licence renewal applications
  • issuing duplicate licences
  • consideration of a material change in circumstances or in premises and disposal of the matter
  • issuing certified true copy of any entry on the public register
  • visits to premises where visit necessary because of a failure of the host or operator

HMO

  • application for an HMO licence
  • issuing a certified copy of an HMO licence
  • issuing a certified copy of an entry in the authority‚Äôs HMO register

LABC

(a) checking full plans and applications

(b) inspecting work associated with full plans applications

(c) checking/inspecting work associated with building notices

(d) checking/inspecting work reverting to local authority control

(e) checking/inspecting work associated with regularisation applications

(f) providing advice in respect of the chargeable functions (a) to (e) above, before these functions are carried out, i.e., before an application or notice is received (note: the first hour is non-chargeable)

Non-chargeable activities

Short Term Lets

  • cannot charge hosts/operators for visits to premises where routine part of application processing or ongoing assurance processes
  • cannot charge neighbours or others for handling complaints or objections

HMO

  • cannot charge a fee for the variation of an HMO licence
  • cannot charge a fee for inspections

Possible parameters for setting fees

Short Term Lets

  • size of premises
  • number of rooms
  • number of guests
  • type of short-term let
  • duration of period property available as short-term let (LA cannot set limits on nights for secondary letting)
  • extent to which licence holder has complied with conditions of licence (could affect renewal fee)

LABC

  • the existing use, or proposed use, of the building after completion of the building work
  • the different kinds of building work described in regulation 3(1)(a) to (i) of the Building Regulations 2000
  • the floor area of the building or extension
  • the nature of the design of the building work and whether innovative or high-risk construction techniques are to be used
  • the estimated duration of the building work and the anticipated number of inspections to be carried out

The costs of providing services in relation to a chargeable function(s) or chargeable advice must be calculated using a single average hourly rate at which the time of officers will be charged.

Recommended parameters

Short Term Lets

  • type of licence (lower fees for home sharing and letting than secondary letting)
  • guest capacity (intended maximum number of guests)

HMO

No specific recommendations

Payment options

Short Term Lets

  • option to allow hosts/operators to pay ongoing subscription in place of application and/or renewal fee
  • option to separate application processing fee (payable on application) and monitoring and enforcement fee (payable when application granted or as a subscription)

HMO

  • option to split initial application and licence maintenance costs (refund of either maintenance element or entire fee to unsuccessful applicants)
  • option to offer discounts for applications requiring less work, HMO owners with large portfolios where likely economies of scale, or applications from persons who are already licensed

Contact

Email: buildingstandards@gov.scot

Back to top