The extension of a selective licensing scheme in Rotherham would be an ‘unnecessary financial burden’ for landlords, the RLA has warned in a consultation response to the proposals.
The Council ran a consultation on proposals to extend selective licensing of private rented housing in the areas of Parkgate and Thurcroft, which ran for twelve weeks and closed on 23rd December last year.
The Council is proposing that landlords in this area would have to pay £592 for a licence in order to rent out their property lawfully.
In the RLA’s response to the proposals, which you can read here, we have outlined a number of our objections to this selective licensing scheme being extended. This includes:
- The scheme would put pressure on non-selective licensing areas.
- The fees are too high, and would mean that landlords would have to pay for an expensive licence while criminal landlords continue to operate below the radar
- The Council already has existing enforcement powers, such as civil penalties and rent repayment orders, and they should make use of these before extending this licensing scheme
- Reviews of HHSRS and selective licensing. Last year the Government launched two separate reviews into the effectiveness of selective licensing and another review into HHSRS. The RLA believes that the Council should await the outcome of these reviews before extending this licensing scheme.
What is selective licensing?
In areas where selective licensing is in place, landlords must apply for a licence in order to rent out a property. For a local authority to declare a selective licensing area the area must be:
- An area of low housing demand and/or
- An area affected by anti-social behaviour where the private landlords have failed to take steps to control anti-social behaviour by their tenants.
Last year, Bournemouth Council rejected plans to introduce Selective Licensing in some areas of the town, after taking on board the concerns that were raised in a consultation on the proposals, including those of the RLA.