Campaigns Local Government

RLA responds to Bournemouth licensing proposals

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

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.

Additional licensing

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.

Raising standards

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.

Have your say on the plans

This consultation is still open, and landlords can read more about the proposals and respond to the consultation here.

About the author

Victoria Barker

Victoria Barker

Victoria is the Communications Officer for the RLA.

She is responsible for producing articles for our Campaigns and News Centre, the weekly E-News newsletter and media review, and creating social media content. She also contributes to our members magazine, Residential Property Investor.

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