“Irate landlords” in Newcastle are demanding the city council refund licencing fees for landlords after a High Court test case according to an article in the Newcastle Chronicle on April 11th 2014. This has highlighted issues around the Homes in Multiple Occupation system as it operates in England.
Licences for a HMO were introduced in 2006 to kerb spiralling levels of student accommodation in pockets of Tyneside, like Sandyford, Jesmond and Heaton. Legislation required landlords to pay a £1,100 fee for a five-year licence to home five unrelated people on three or more floors.
http://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/north-east-news/landlords-newcastle-demand-750k-refund-6952221 [NB: I think the journalist means curb rather than kerb.]
HMOs have operated throughout Scotland since 2000 and were introduced to protect tenants’ health and safety. To read about what HMOs are, and in what ways they are different in Scotland and England, see the Heaton page: https://newcastleareas.wordpress.com/heaton-tyneside-flats/