The RLA has challenged consultations run by London Borough of Brent and Enfield respectively, on the subject of Additional HMO and selective licensing. Both councils proposed the licensing schemes on the basis of anti-social behaviour of tenants and poor property management standards within privately rented properties.
Brent council ‘believes’ ASB and criminal behaviour is ‘linked’ to management of PRS properties, but also acknowledges that ‘other factors could be at play’. The arguments provided by the council are weak and vague which fail to support their proposals for selective licensing. Brent was submitted Monday 10th March 2014, and Enfield on Friday 7th March 2014. You can view the consultation responses here:
- Brent – Additional and selective licensing of private rented homes in London Borough of Brent
- Enfield – Additional and selective licensing of private rented homes in Enfield
From the RLA point of view, the act of charging landlords hundreds of pounds for licences to continue to rent out their properties could either result in higher rent for tenants as landlords look to recoup the charges or for landlords to be deterred from investing in the sector.
When poor property management is highlighted as a major impetus for licensing, it is illogical to charge landlords more to continue their practices. The RLA feels that the rationale behind the proposed selective licensing schemes is weak as both councils try to prove that anti-social behaviour (ASB) of private rented sector (PRS) tenants is enough of a concern to licence landlords.
This argument is used frequently, and the RLA maintain that additional HMO and selective licensing schemes are ineffective at reducing incidents of anti-social behaviour. A House of Commons Library standard note “Anti-social behaviour in private housing”, outlines the “legal position and available remedies where people find themselves living next door to tenants of private landlords…who exhibit anti-social behaviour.” Victims of ASB should report the perpetrator to the police, i.e., the tenant, not the landlord.
If you know of licensing in your area, please let the campaigns team know, and we will endeavour to respond. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- View other licensing stories on the RLA Landlords’ News Hub
- House of Commons standard note: Anti-social behaviour in private housing