Campaigns Local Government

RLA responds to Hastings licensing consultation

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

Landlords with rental properties in Hastings are being encouraged to have their say on plans to renew a selective licensing scheme in Hastings.

The council is proposing to introduce a scheme requiring landlords to licence all privately rented flats and houses that are occupied by one household (i.e. single persons or couples, or one family) in the 6 wards of Braybrooke, Castle, Central St Leonards, Gensing, Old Hastings and Tressell.  

The RLA has opposed the proposals, for several reasons.

One reason for this is because the council already has existing enforcement powers which they should use to tackle poor housing conditions and management, such as civil penalty notices and banning orders.

The RLA argues that the council should make use of these enforcement powers rather than introduce a licensing scheme.

Little evidence to show licensing schemes improve housing standards

The RLA is also concerned that when licensing schemes are in place, the focus of staff becomes the processing and issuing of licences, rather than management standards and property conditions.

There is little evidence to show that licensing schemes improve housing standards, and in its consultation response the RLA have highlighted a number of alternatives to licensing. For example, the council could use council tax records to identify private rented properties ad landlords. Unlike licensing, this would not require self-identification by landlords, resulting it being harder for the small minority of criminal landlords to operate under the radar.

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.


  • I may have missed it, but is NRLA also commenting on Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole’s consultation to do the same?
    Thank you

    • Good afternoon, thanks for your message. Yes, the RLA has submitted a response to this consultation, and we will be sharing the response with members in our newsletter. Many thanks, Victoria

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