Campaigns Local Government

Have your say in local licensing consultations

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

The RLA is urging landlords and letting agents to have their say in current licensing consultations.

The association aims to respond to all local authority licensing consultations. See below for a list of current consultations and the closing dates.

Brent-additional and selective licensing

Brent Council is consulting on plans to renew an additional licensing scheme in the borough.

Currently in Brent, as well as a mandatory licensing scheme that is in operation, the council also operates a borough-wide ‘Additional licensing’ scheme which was introduced in 2014 for HMOs occupied by less than 5 people, and two Selective licensing schemes.

The current two selective licensing schemes cover the wards of: Harlesden, Willesden Green and Wembley Central; and the later scheme introduced in 2018 covers the wards of Dudden Hill, Kensal Green, Kilburn, Mapesbury and Queens Park.

Now, the Council is proposing to renew the additional licensing scheme for all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) across the borough which expires on 31 December 2019.

It is also proposing to renew the selective licensing scheme for three wards, Harlesden, Willesden Green and Wembley Central, which expires on 31 December 2019.

Brent Council also wants to extend selective licensing, so that it covers the wards of: Alperton, Barnhill, Brondesbury Park, Fryent, Northwick Park, Preston, Queensbury, Sudbury, Tokyngton (excluding Wembley Park) and Welsh Harp wards. This consultation closes on 25 Aug 2019. To read more about the plans and have your say, click here.

Birmingham to introduce city-wide Article 4 Direction

Landlords who want to convert family homes in Birmingham into small HMOs will need to submit planning applications to do so under new plans revealed by the city council. The local authority plans to introduce a city-wide Article 4 Direction, removing ‘permitted development rights’ for small HMOs, so that planning permission must be obtained before development can take place. 

Birmingham City Council is inviting public comments as part of a six-week consultation which began on June 6 and will close on 18 July. Read more about this and have your say here.

Lewisham-additional and selective licensing

Lewisham Council has launched a consultation on plans to introduce property licensing for all private rented homes in Lewisham.

There are currently two licensing schemes already in operation in Lewisham, Mandatory licensing and Additional licensing.

The Council is proposing to extend the additional licensing scheme to cover all HMO properties in the borough.

In addition to this, a borough wide selective licensing scheme has also been proposed. This would mean that all privately rented properties would require a licence.

The scheme would need approval from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government. A consultation on the plans has launched, and this will run until 20th August 2019.

Rotherham – selective licensing

Rotherham Council is considering the future of Selective Licensing in Eastwood and Rotherham Town Centre, Masbrough, Dinnington and Maltby South East.  These current designations come to an end in April 2020 and the Council is consulting on proposals to designate parts of these again for a further 5 years.

The Council is also considering designating part of Little London in Maltby as a Selective Licensing Area. The consultation closes on 8th September 2019, and landlords are invited to have their say on the plans in an online survey here.

Havering-selective and additional licensing

The London Borough of Havering is proposing to introduce an additional licensing scheme, which will add to the existing HMO licensing scheme that is already in force. The proposed scheme will include the remaining six wards in Havering that are not already covered, including Cranham, Upminster, St Andrews, Emerson Park, Hacton, and Hylands.

As well as introducing additional licensing, the Council is proposing to implement a selective licensing scheme in the wards of Romford Town and Brooklands. This means that if the scheme gets the go ahead, ALL private rented properties rented to a single family or household or two unrelated people, would be required to be licensed. This consultation closes on 20th September 2019 and landlords can respond to the consultation here.

Selective licensing review

Last week, the results of a review into selective licensing was published. The report includes a proposal for a national register of landlords. The RLA is disappointed with this recommendation, which it fears will push up costs and increase red tape for those landlords who are providing good quality homes to rent, while criminal landlords ignore the requirement and continue to operate below the radar.

  • Are you aware of another local licensing consultation that is not on this list? Please let us know in the comment section below.

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

8 Comments

  • I do not think any council should be issuing g a license to a landlord to rent their property out, especially a license per property. If they want to identify landlords it would be much simpler to add boxes to the council tax form that asks if they own or rent, then if they rent the name, address and contact details of their landlord.
    They could them form a data base of all landlords and owners, and any properties missing from their list could easily be investigated to see if they were illegal lets.

    I also think that good landlords should be supported and bad landlords hammered. If a landlord is acting illegally and has been caught twice, I think the property should be forfeited the third time.
    We should then get rid of the landlords who over crown their proeprties and have dangerous conditions for tenants.

  • Durham County council are planning a consultation on Selective Licensing in September for over 20% on up to 100% of the whole County PRS

      • I have previously emailed your policy and campagns teams about it as my local landlords association are very concerned and want to work together. I have not had a reply yet.
        Regards
        Laura

        • Hi, I have chased this with our campaigns team and a member of the team will be in touch with you in relation to this. Thanks, Victoria

  • I think Sue Ashcombe-Hurt’s ideas are better than paying licence fees to a council that does nothing about bad landlords. The current climate seems to me to be persecution of law abiding landlords trying to provide much needed good accommodation for rent paying tenants while pretending to do something about rogue landlords but not actually doing anything meaningful at all!

  • Hi
    I have had a look at the consultation for selective licensing in Havering.
    I began the process of filling in the form and found that it was a tick box form which insisted on answers to all questions.
    The structure means that I could not complete the process without completely miss-representing my own views!

    A couple of examples.

    Example 1

    Which of the following are you most concerned about in Havering? (please tick all that apply)

    (Required)
    Affordable Housing
    Poor housing conditions
    Street environment eg. rubbish and fly tipping
    Crime levels and antisocial behaviour
    Overcrowded rental properties
    Rent arrears
    Tenant deposits
    Short tenancy contracts
    Housing benefit payments
    Poor physical and/or mental health related to housing
    Don’t know

    I am not concerned about any of these. The closest I can get is ‘Don’t know’.

    Example 2

    If you are a local resident, landlord or business, please rank the following antisocial behaviour issues in the order you are most concerned (where 1 = most concerned)

    Noise
    Vandalism/graffiti
    Litter and fly tips
    Parking
    Overgrown/untidy gardens
    Overcrowding
    Run down properties

    These can be scored 1-10 but there is no opportunity to say that none of these issues are of concern in Havering.

    The whole process is structured in such a way as to make any response support the position of those who wish to impose a licensing scheme.

    I think this inadequate consultation tool needs to be challenged.

    • Hi Paul, thanks for taking the time to highlight your concerns. I have passed this across to our local government officer, and please note the RLA will be making a formal response to this consultation. Best, Victoria

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.