Campaigns Local Government

RLA responds to Stoke selective licensing consultation

Victoria Barker
Written by Victoria Barker

The RLA has responded to Stoke-on-Trent Council’s consultation on introducing Selective Licensing in 14 areas of the city.

The consultation response, which can be read here, explains why the RLA is against Selective Licensing being introduced in the areas of;  Etruria, Hanley, Hanley Park, Shelton, Burslem Central, Hartshimm, Basford, Moorcroft, Joiner’s Square, Birches Head, Central Forest Park, Penkhull, and Stoke.

The council have proposed a standard licensing fee of £523, with an £100 discount for an accredited landlord and a £50 discount for any application made within the first 3 months of the scheme going live.

The consultation response states: “We understand that the Council’s Housing Strategy 2017-2022 sets out the Council’s objective to improve the condition and liveability of existing homes and rental management practices in Stoke on Trent. However, these schemes do little but alienate lawful landlords by burdening them with additional costs, while criminal operators continue to ignore regulations and avoid these additional costs.”

Why the RLA in general opposes Selective Licensing

In general, the RLA is opposed to Selective Licensing, because it maintains that good, law abiding landlords have to pay for expensive licenses, the cost of of these could be passed on to tenants for example through increased rents.

The proposed standard licensing fee in these areas of Stoke on Trent is £523, which the RLA believes even with the discounts, is an unnecessary financial burden to put on landlords.

Little evidence that licensing schemes improve standards

The letter goes on to state that there is little evidence that licensing schemes actually improve housing standards. This is because the focus of staff becomes the processing and issue of licences, while prosecutions centre on whether a property is licensed or not, rather than improving management standards and property conditions.

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.

1 Comment

  • Bristol City Council are now proposing the same nonsense – £1660 for a 5-year license! Their explanatory notes to try to justify this make no sense and they clearly have no idea at all how many HMO’s there are or who the landlords are. They are just picking on the soft-target decent few landlords whose details they have to try to raise as much money as possible, whilst achieving no affect at all on HMO conditions. As the article says, this cost will simply be passed to tenants in increased rent so they will be the ultimate losers.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.