Local Government North West

Two New Licensing Schemes Proposed

India Cocking
Written by India Cocking

Lancaster City Council has been granted approval on two new licensing schemes, both in area of West End of Morecambe.

The schemes being proposed are a Selective Licensing Scheme and an Additional Licensing Scheme.

Selective Licensing was introduced under the Housing Act 2004. The Housing Act 2004 says that before introducing selective licensing to any area local Councils must consult with all affected people, such as tenants, residents, landlords, managing agents, businesses, Police, Fire Service, local Councillors etc. 

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.

Additional Licensing schemes affect Houses of Multiple Occupancy that are not licensed under Mandatory HMO Licensing. If you own a property that is 3 or more floors, houses 5 or more people not from the same family, and share facilities then usually you are required to hold a Mandatory Licence.

Alongside a licence fee, landlords will also have to declare that they are a fit and proper person to hold a licence and 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. 

The additional conditions that Lancaster Council have chosen to propose can be read here and their draft fees here.

Drop in sessions are also being run by the council for interested parties to voice their concerns or ask questions;

Tuesday 28 November, 2pm – 4pm West End Impact, Heysham, LA3 1DG
Wednesday 6 December, 9:3am – 11:30am More Music, LA3 1QT

This consultation closes on the 15th December 2017. 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 full details of this consultation can be found here.

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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