Campaigns Local Government West Midlands

Selective Licensing Plans Announced in Walsall

India Cocking
Written by India Cocking

Walsall Council is in the midst of a Selective Licensing scheme consultation for the areas of Willenhall, Walsall Town Centre, and adjoining areas.

Selective Licensing applies to all private rented sector houses that are not licensed under HMO licensing, this includes non licensable HMOs. An area may be designated for selective licensing either (i) if the area is (or is likely to be) an area of low housing demand or (ii) the area is experiencing a significant and persistent problem caused by anti social behaviour that local authorities attribute to private sector landlords failing to take action to combat against unruly tenants. A designation can last up to five years.

As part of the licence, the holders of the licence will be required to comply with licensing conditions, some of which are mandatorily imposed by the Housing Act, and local licensing conditions from the council itself.

Walsall have proposed 9 conditions which include: Explaining to tenants in a way that they can understand, how to use the property’s facilities; such as gas and electrical appliances and sanitation facilities, Attending an approved training course within 12 months of the start of Selective Licensing, and to Complete a number of questions relating to fit and proper status in the licence application form.

There is a cost involved in the issuing of a licence, the fees Walsall are proposing are as follows:

The standard fee per dwelling is £714.00 non accredited or accredited £614.
Early bird Fee is a 25% reduction in relevant fee for those who apply within first 3 months of the Selective Licensing scheme going live (£535.50 non accredited or £435,50 accredited).

The HMO fees are:

HMOs (with 3-4 Persons) £714 non accredited or £614 accredited
(with 5 – 6 Persons) £892 non accredited or £792 accredited
(with 7– 8 Persons) £1,313 non accredited or £1,213 accredited
(with 9 – 14 Persons) £1,450 non accredited or  £1,350 accredited
(with 15 – 19 Persons) £1,610 non accredited or £1,510 accredited
(with 20 or more Persons) £1,790 non accredited or £1,690 accredited

The Early Bird discount will still apply to HMO fees. Other discounts being proposed include a High Energy Performance discount, On-Line Application discount, and a New Build Property discount. The full fee structure can be read here.

The consultation comes to an end 8th January 2018.

The RLA will make an official response to this consultation, as we do with all consultations, opposing this scheme. We urge our members to make their own response by answering Walsall’s questionnaire or writing them a letter outlining your views, opinions, and experiences as a landlord.

All our past responses can be read here. These letters can be used as template for your own responses, however please contact the Campaigns and Policy Team if you have any queries about making an official response to this consultation.

The full details of this consultation can be read here.

Walsall Council’s Contact Details: Walsall Council, Housing Standards and Improvement, 1st Floor, The Civic Centre, Darwall Street, Walsall, WS1 1TP, Tel: 01922 650000, or Email: housingstandardsimprovement@walsall.gov.uk

For more information:

About the author

India Cocking

India Cocking

India is the Local Government Officer for the RLA. Having completed her degree in International Politics at Aberystwyth University, India is currently working on updating and maintaining the Local Authority Network. This is of importance as it strengthens communication and understanding between landlords, local authorities, and the RLA. India is working towards gathering concise and clear data from all 435 local authorities on their licencing, fees, news, events and contact details.

Before joining the RLA India worked at Martin and Co Lettings Agent in her home town of Derby, the Welsh Assembly, and her local MP, alongside helping her parents run the family buy-to-let business.

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