The RLA has been in talks with Hackney Borough Council on a consultation concerning licensing in the area. A ‘Scrutiny Commission’ has been set up to handle the consultation.
Hackney are considering moves to implement a licensing scheme within the entire area that would require private landlords to register their properties in a bid to tackle poor living conditions found in some of the houses in the area.
The RLA have provided a written response and will have a representative at a meeting Monday 11th November. For more information and link to survey visit the Scrutiny Commission webpage.
- What evidence is there of poor tenant experiences in the private rented sector?
- What additional or alternative options are there to a licensing scheme?
- What are the wider community experiences and views on any adverse issues associated with private rented lettings in their area?
- Does the evidence collected by the Commission support or not the case for establishing a licensing scheme?
In relation to question 1, the RLA often point to the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) ‘English Housing Survey’ document FA5401: satisfaction with accommodation which shows that 83 per cent of tenants are happy with their accommodation.
With regards to question 2, the RLA believe that authorities already have a great many powers at their disposal to achieve desired outcomes that licensing often aims. Criminal landlords that provide sub-standard accommodation will continue to flout the law even in the face of licensing and more rigorous regulation.
In a bid to answer the remaining consultation questions request as fully as possible, the RLA sent a pointed email to landlords in the Hackney region asking for feedback on their experiences with the council and what they thought of proposals. One landlord suggested that the area was synonymous with high-standard of rental accommodation and that any landlord entering the market would have to be sure of good service because it is essentially what is expected of tenants.
Another respondent argued that it was in fact the council that was providing sub-standard accommodation and asked whether or not the council had any plans to improve these conditions. The implication is that private landlords are being targeted unfairly.
The RLA provided a written response to the consultation request and will have a representative at the meeting on Monday 11th November. You can view the agenda for the meeting here on the Hackney council website.