Local Government West Midlands

New Legislation for Birmingham Landlords

India Cocking
Written by India Cocking

Birmingham City Council have started a new consultation on a Selective Licensing Scheme in the ward of Stockland Green. The council is running this consultation until the 30th November 2017, and all affected parties are invited to respond.

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 affects all private rented houses within the designated area.  

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. A designation can last up to five years.

Alongside the licence fees, landlords will also have to declare that they are a fit and proper person to hold a licence and 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 is proposing a fee of £500 for each 5 year licence. They have not outlined any fee structure for discounts pertaining to early applications, accredited landlords, or members of approved organisations. Alongside this, Birmingham have failed to outline the conditions that they expect landlords to comply with. We will be mentioning this in our official consultation response.

The RLA responds to all local government consultations. Our response can be read here, please feel free to use our responses as a template to your own. The council have created a questionnaire for landlords to complete, if you prefer.

We urge all our members to submit a response to the council to ensure that landlords are represented in the decision making process. If you have any questions regarding making a consultation response please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Policy and Campaigns Team.

The full consultation document and the questionnaires are available on the Council’s website.

If you have any questions regarding this consultation in particular please get in touch with the council directly on prs@birmingham.gov.uk or 0121 675 549.

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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