Private Rented Property Licensing Schemes Update
In our private rented property licensing schemes update this month, we not only take a look at some of the proposed licensing schemes that are up for consultation across the country, but we also take a closer look at one of our six key manifesto asks when it comes to improving enforcement for all.
- Enfield Council– selective licensing scheme renewal and borough-wide additional HMO licensing [Closes 29th November]
Enfield Council has launched a consultation on plans to introduce two new private rented property licensing schemes.
The Council is proposing to introduce the following licensing schemes:
1. The first proposed scheme is for Selective Licensing, which would operate in the following thirteen wards: Bowes, Edmonton Green, Enfield Highway, Enfield Lock, Haselbury, Jubilee, Lower Edmonton, Palmers Green, Ponders End, Southbury, Southgate Green, Turkey Street and Upper Edmonton;
A further proposed selective licensing scheme, would operate in Chase ward.
2. A second proposed scheme is for Additional Licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) which will apply to the whole borough.
The consultation closes at midnight on 29 November 2019.
Hounslow Council-additional licensing consultation (closes on 27th December)
Hounslow Council has relaunched an additional licensing consultation. Earlier this year, the RLA and Safe Agent threatened to launch a judicial review over the original ‘flawed’ consultation.
The consultation has now been relaunched, and landlords can read more about the proposals and respond to the consultation by clicking here.
- Croydon Council – closes 17th February
Croydon’s borough wide selective licensing scheme is currently up for renewal.
In October 2015, Croydon Council introduced a borough-wide scheme requiring all private landlords to be licensed and ensure their tenants’ homes meet key housing, environmental and safety standards.
The five-year scheme is now up for renewal in 2020, and a consultation has been launched. In the consultation documents, Croydon Council has put forward three proposals. These are:
- To introduce a scheme covering 92% of the private rented sector in Croydon; a borough-wide scheme; or one that focuses on property conditions in 22 Croydon wards, and anti-social behaviour in the remaining six wards.
To read more about the plans and have your say in this consultation, click here.
Licensing consultations the RLA has responded to this month
Islington Council recently ran a consultation on plans to introduce a borough-wide additional HMO licensing scheme, and a selective licensing scheme to cover all properties in the Finsbury Park ward not already covered by mandatory licensing.
In the RLA’s response to this consultation, which you can read here, the RLA warned that introducing a licensing scheme could lead to landlords passing the cost of a licence on to tenants, in the form of increased rents.
The RLA’s General Election manifesto
One of the RLA’s key asks as part of its six point manifesto is to root out the minority of criminal landlords by ensuring local authorities make full use of the existing enforcement powers they already have.
Specifically, the RLA is calling for:
- Restrictions on using landlord licensing until the local authority can prove they are using their existing enforcement powers
- Standardised enforcement policies so the law is applied consistently and fairly across the country
- Better use of data to tackle criminal landlords
- Properly resourced local authorities
Written by Victoria Barker