Local Government London

Another London Borough Proposes Landlord Licencing

India Cocking
Written by India Cocking

The London Borough of Harrow, in the north west of the capital, are currently in the midst of a consultation on a proposed Selective Licensing scheme for Roxbourne and Roxeth Wards.

Selective Licensing was introduced under the Housing Act 2004. The Housing Act 2004 says that before introducing selective licensing to any area local Councils must consult with all affected people, such as tenants, residents, landlords, managing agents, businesses, Police, Fire Service, local Councillors etc.

Selective Licensing applies to all private rented sector houses that are not licensed under HMO licensing, this includes non licensable HMOs. An area may be designated for selective licensing either (i) if the area is (or is likely to be) an area of low housing demand or (ii) the area is experiencing a significant and persistent problem caused by anti social behaviour that local authorities attribute to private sector landlords failing to take action to combat against unruly tenants. The London Borough is proposing the scheme last for 5 years.

As part of the licence, the holders of the licence will be required to comply with licensing conditions, some of which are mandatorily imposed by the Housing Act, and local licensing conditions from the council itself.

The Local Authority has, since the consultation started, extended the end date of the consultation. I have been advised that this date will be some time in mid august and the full details of the consultation will be released next week. At the moment the only information on the Council’s website in a designation map, which can be viewed here.

I will update members when the full consultation document is released, which will include proposed fees and additional conditions.

After the full details are released, the RLA will be making an official response objecting to this scheme.

The RLA is opposed to selective licensing schemes, believing they are expensive and unnecessary. RLA Chairman Alan Ward said:

“What councils need to concentrate on is taking enforcement action against the criminal landlords who, while in the minority, are out there. All this scheme will do is punish good landlords who will be forced to pay for costly licences while the criminals continue to operate below the radar – while raking in millions of pounds for the council.”

All of our consultation replies can be found here.

We urge our members to make their own official responses documenting their views to the Council in order to get landlords effectively represented in the local authorities decision making process.

To keep up to date with news, events, licensing, and courses in Harrow visit their Local Authority Network page here.

About the author

India Cocking

India Cocking

India is the Local Government Officer for the RLA. Having completed her degree in International Politics at Aberystwyth University, India is currently working on updating and maintaining the Local Authority Network. This is of importance as it strengthens communication and understanding between landlords, local authorities, and the RLA. India is working towards gathering concise and clear data from all 435 local authorities on their licencing, fees, news, events and contact details.

Before joining the RLA India worked at Martin and Co Lettings Agent in her home town of Derby, the Welsh Assembly, and her local MP, alongside helping her parents run the family buy-to-let business.

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