Local Government West Midlands

Stoke Open Consultation

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India Cocking
Written by India Cocking

The City of Stoke-On-Trent have announced a consultation on Selective Licensing in 14 areas of the City.

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, of which Stoke have proposed 23. The 23 additional licensing conditions Stoke have proposed relate to issues such as; property security, anti-social behaviour, and fit and proper person requirements. All the conditions can be read here.

The official designation of Stoke’s scheme can be read here. If you are unsure whether this scheme will affect you, please contact Stoke-On-Trent Council directly, failure to obtain a licence when one is required is an offence which is liable for conviction and an unlimited fine.

Comenting on the scheme, the council says “Bad housing has a terrible impact on the health and welfare of the people who live in it and impacts on the wider community. Selective Licensing can help to tackle poor housing conditions and poor property management which can lead to high numbers of empty properties, fly tipping and anti-social behaviour within the private rented sector.” 

The scheme is being proposed 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 specific streets proposed can be viewed on a downloadable document on Stoke’s Selective Licensing page.

Stoke 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 ends on the 30th April 2018. The RLA makes an official response to all local government consultations, opposing the introduction of landlord licensing. Please feel free to use our past responses or arguments as a template for your own.

We urge our members to submit their own responses, either through a letter to the council or by filling in their questionnaire. The more landlords who respond to this scheme, the better represented we will be during the council’s decision making process.

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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