Local Government South East

Woking Announces Selective Licensing Consultation

India Cocking
Written by India Cocking

Woking Council is proposing a new 3 year Selective Licensing scheme in parts of the Town Centre and Maybury areas. If approved, the licence could set landlords with houses in the designated areas back £560.

After considering the proposed area, the local authority is encouraging all landlords, residents, and stakeholders to provide feedback on the proposal so that the council can make an informed decision whether or not to implement the designation.

Over the last 3 years Woking’s housing market has been subject to increasingly high demand, the council puts this down to location, employment opportunities, and Woking’s unique environment. Woking has become the second most expensive place to rent a double room in the UK, beating London in the polls and narrowly missing out to Guernsey.

The private rented sector is a vital supply of housing for the high level of demand in this borough. However, the council has become concerned specifically with the quality of the affordable private rented sector houses available. The council claims that they have received 531 complaints from solely private rented sector tenants in the last 3 years.

Woking has the highest percentage of privately rented houses across Surrey at 16.6% compared with 71.4% owner occupied houses and 11.9% social rented. The Canalside Ward which includes the town centre and Maybury areas exhibit high levels of private renting alongside receiving proportionally more complaints from residents.

Selective licensing is set out in the Housing Act 2004 and allows councils to require private rented sector houses, that aren’t licensed under HMO licensing, to be licenced with the council. If granted, the licence requires landlords, in a set designated area, to meet a range of licence conditions.

The consultation closes 30th April 2017, the RLA will be replying to oppose the introduction of licensing, as we do with all proposals, and we urge our members to do the same.

To learn more about the consultation proposed by Woking Council, to see the conditions of the licence, and to have your say visit: https://www.woking.gov.uk/housing/privatesectorhousing/landlords/licenceproposal

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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