The RLA has responded to plans to extend an additional and selective licensing scheme in the London Borough of Havering.
The Council is proposing to add to the existing HMO additional licensing scheme in the borough by introducing another scheme that includes the six remaining wards currently not covered.
As well as this, the Council proposes to introduce selective licensing in the Romford Town and Brooklands wards.
RLA response to this consultation
In the RLA’s response to this consultation, which can be read online here, there are several reasons why the association is opposed to the proposals. This includes:
Concerns about the high fees that landlords could end up having to pass costs on to tenants
The Council is proposing to charge landlords a fee of £1250 for a new Additional Licence application.
The RLA is concerned that this fee is too high, warning that landlords with properties in Havering will be left with no choice but to pass the cost onto tenants, in the form of high rents.
As well as this, the RLA is also concerned that both of the licensing schemes will do nothing to tackle the issue of criminal landlords, because such landlords are likely to ignore the scheme and not obtain a licence, as they do with other regulations.
The Council should make use of existing enforcement powers
There are more than 150 Acts of Parliament and 400 regulations affecting landlords in the private rented sector. The RLA argues that rather than relying on licensing schemes to regulate landlords, Councils should use the enforcement powers they already have, such as civil penalties and banning orders.