Landlords who operate within the following areas will need to make sure that they have the appropriate licences in order to remain legally complaint. Licensing schemes remain a popular tactic for Local Authorities to improve standards in privately rented properties and several schemes have come live recently or will come into force shortly. Rotherham; Waltham Forest; Oldham; Tower Hamlets all feature.
Government Revisits Selective Licensing rules: Recently it was decided that, after 1st April 2015, Local Authorities would have to apply to the Housing Minister (still Brandon Lewis) for approval for schemes that covered up to 20% of the authority area, or 20% or more of privately rented properties.
It is important to emphasise that these rules only apply to new schemes. Any licensing scheme that had already conducted, or was in the process of conducting a public consultation – even with enforcement dates after 1st April – would not be subject to Government restraints. This will hopefully explain some of the schemes below in terms of size and implementation date.
Rotherham – Selective Licensing designation
On 1st May 2015 a Selective Licensing scheme came into force in areas of Rotherham. The designation will last for five years. The areas that are included within the scheme are: Eastwood; Masbrough; Dinnington; Maltby South East. If you have any properties in this area you can check maps of the designation, if your property falls into one of these areas you will be required to obtain a licence from the Council.
Waltham Forest – Private Rented Property Licensing (PRPL)
PRPL is essentially Selective Licensing and will require every privately rented property in the area to obtain licences. There are exemptions which are outlined in full on the Waltham Forest licensing page for landlords.
This Private Rented Property Licensing scheme has been live since 1st April 2015. It is imperative that landlords renting privately in the area apply for and obtain licences for all applicable properties.
Oldham – Selective Licensing
Oldham are staggering the implementation dates for areas effected by the scheme.
From the 1st May 2015, properties in the areas of St Mary’s;will be required to have a licence or face penalties from the Local Authority. Properties in Hathershaw and Waterhead will need licences from 6th July. Hollinwood and Primrose Bank from 1st September, with Alexandra, Coldhurst, and Oldham Edge requiring licences from 1st January 2016.
For more details view our previous article on the scheme – Oldham Council stagger Selective Licensing scheme date.
Licences cost £490 per property licence, and will last the five years of the scheme.
If you as a landlord, or agent on behalf of landlords, rent out properties in the above areas it is imperative that you apply for a licence.
- You can view the maps for designation of the scheme here
- For more information visit the Oldham Council landlord licensing page here
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets is currently in the middle of a public consultation to consider Selective Licensing in areas of the Local Authority. Landlords in and around the Tower Hamlets area are urged to feedback into the consultation to ensure that the local opinion is taken into account.
Blackwall and Cubbit Town; Bow East; Bow West; Milwall; Spitalfields and Banglatown; Weavers; and Whitechapel are the areas being considered for the licensing scheme. An interactive version of the map, designated areas for Selective Licensing can be found here.
- For more information on the scheme in general, please click here to visit the Tower Hamlets webpage.
- Feedback on the consultation here.
RLA and licensing
In general the RLA is against licensing proposals and will respond to each consultation we become aware of. If there are any further consultations that have not been considered please get in touch and we will consider them in due course.
The RLA argues for better enforcement, not more regulation within the private rented sector (PRS). The Association is prepared to engage with any local authority to consider alternatives to licensing.