Local Government London

Newham Looks to Licence All PRS Properties

India Cocking
Written by India Cocking

The London Borough of Newham has announced this week the start of an Additional Licensing Scheme and the intended start of two new Selective Licensing Schemes.

The additional licensing scheme will come into force 1st January 2018 and will run until 31st December 2022.

Additional Licensing schemes affect Houses of Multiple Occupancy that are not licensed under Mandatory HMO Licensing. If you own a property that is 3 or more floors, houses 5 or more people not from the same family, and share facilities then usually you are required to hold a Mandatory Licence.

In addition, there are specific provisions which mean that converted blocks/buildings, (e.g., converted blocks of self contained flats or mixed accommodation where there is a mixture of self-contained and non-self-contained units), can be a HMO. You do not, always need a sharing of washing facilities, kitchen facilities or toilet facilities for there to be a HMO. If there are at least three unrelated people involved, then the property could be a HMO. There are exceptions to these basic guidelines, please contact the council directly to see weather Additional or Mandatory Licensing will affect you.

The fees for a licence is £850 per home, the London Borough of Newham is not offering any discounts for accreditation or membership to a landlord association at this time. The designation map of the licensed area can be found here.

The Mayor and cabinet members have approved the introduction of two new selective licensing schemes, which would cover the whole borough. However, these schemes will still need approval by the Secretary of State before they can be officially announced and implementation can go ahead. I will alert our members when Newham contact me regarding this decision.

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 Councilors 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. A designation can last up to five 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 RLA made an official response opposing both the introduction of an Additional and Selective Licensing scheme. To see our rall our consultation responses, including Newham’s, here.

To read the full details of the licensing schemes in Newham including application details, visit the council website here.

For more information:

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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