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‘Limited’ licensing judicial review to go ahead

Letting Agent Today has published the result of the High Court test case over whether a local authority’s landlord licensing scheme should be subject to judicial review.
“Both sides are claiming victory in a High Court test case over whether a local authority’s landlord licensing scheme should be subject to judicial review.

On the one hand it appears that Enfield council in north London has received the go-ahead to implement its borough-wide general landlord licensing scheme, due to come into effect in April.

The council want landlords to pay £500 for a five-year licence from the authority. Failure to do so risks a £20,000 fine and a criminal record, with more specific breaches of any licence conditions carrying a £5,000 fine.

At the hearing of the application for permission to challenge the council’s decision, Senior Administrative Court Judge Mr Justice Ouseley concluded that both the council’s evidence base and its decision-making process as regards licensing of single family privately rented accommodation were “robust and sound.”

However, the test case bought by Constantinos Regas – a landlord in Enfield with just one property – has been successful in one regard at least.

The judge at the hearing agreed that there could be a judicial review on the specific point of the council’s decision to create additional licensing of homes in multiple occupation, above and beyond any mandatory licensing.

A hearing on the legal validity of this council policy will now be held before the end of November.”

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