The RLA has opposed plans to introduce selective and borough-wide additional licensing in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole.
The council is proposing to introduce a selective licensing scheme across four specific areas within the areas of:
• Southbourne, Boscombe, Pokesdown, East Cliff & Springbourne
• Westhill, Westbourne and Bournemouth Town Centre,
• Poole Town
• Winton and Charminster
If the selective licensing is approved, landlords who have a rental property within the designated selective licensing area will be required to obtain a licence in order to lawfully rent their property out.
It is estimated that the proposed scheme will affect 31% of the total private rented stock in the borough, and the addresses that could fall into the proposed licensing scheme can be viewed on this online map.
As well as the proposed selective licensing scheme, BCP Council is also consulting on plans to introduce a borough-wide additional HMO licensing scheme.
If approved, this scheme would mean that all landlords with small HMOs(a HMO occupied by 3 or 4 people from two or more households, and where facilities are shared) will be required to obtain a licence to lawfully rent this out. This does not apply to larger HMOs already subject to national mandatory licensing.
The RLA’s response to the consultation
In the RLA’s response to this consultation, the association has opposed plans to introduce the two schemes for several reasons.
One reason for this is because the council already has a number of existing powers to tackle poor housing management and conditions in the PRS, such as civil penalty notices and rent repayment orders. The RLA argue that instead of the council introducing a licensing scheme, the council should make use of these powers.
In the associations response to this consultation the RLA has also pointed out the licensing schemes do little to improve housing standards, because the focus of staff becomes the processing and issue of licences with prosecutions typically centering on whether a property is licensed or not, instead of improving management standards and property conditions.
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