Additional and Selective Licensing Schemes continue to be adopted by local councils across the UK, despite evidence suggesting that they do not work. Recent licensing schemes have been implemented in Hackney, from 1st October after a consultation, and Nottingham, where it was introduced in August. Newcastle upon Tyne is expected to implement new schemes for large-scale Selective and Additional licensing shortly.
Licensing schemes are in place for five years at a time, before local authorities are duty-bound to conduct reviews before introducing a new regime. The fees for licences usually cost landlords somewhere in the mid-hundreds for each property, with discounts offered for more than one property or early licensing. However, this varies for each local authority.
Here are some of the schemes that have been introduced or will come into force imminently.
Landlords in Hackney have until 2nd December 2018 to submit their application for licences before the scheme comes into force from 3rd December. Additional Licensing is required for all HMOs throughout the entire borough, while Selective Licensing is required for non-HMOs in the three wards of Stoke Newington, Cazenove and Brownswood. As with all selective licensing schemes, the agent or landlord must ensure their property meets the acceptable standards set by the council, or face fines of up to £30,000 from the courts.
The Selective Licensing Scheme in Nottingham was launched in August 2018, and covers part of or all of these areas:
- Leen Valley
- Radford and Park
- Wollaton East and East
- Dunkirk and Lenton
- St Ann’s
The Council’s Additional Licensing scheme for 2019 – 2023 for HMOs was approved in September, and covers the wards of Radford and Park, Arboretum and parts of areas such as Bridge, Dunkirk and Lenton, Sherwood and Berridge.
A consultation by Newcastle City Council was launched on 5th November 2018 to propose a new licensing scheme to cover around 18,500 rented properties located within the city. There will be a combination of Additional Licensing for 9,350 homes, and Selective Licensing for 9,100 homes. There are only two areas which currently require Selective Licensing – Allendale South and Byker Old Town, which have a standard application fee amounting to £550. The license also stipulates that landlords must undertake a minimum of five hours of training each year.
Every HMO in Greenwich has needed a license since 1st October 2017, but the local council issued letters recently to letting agents explaining that some agents are encouraging landlords to not apply for a license. There are large penalties totalling £30,000 for any landlord or managing agent who fails to comply, with a recent fine of £15,000 given to a rogue landlord in Greenwich.
Camden Council implemented its Additional HMO Licensing Scheme for the entire borough on 8th December 2015, and it is due to expire in December 2020. The Council explained that the aim of this scheme is to help tackle poor housing conditions, overcrowding and poor management of HMOs by regulating them with additional powers. The Council is also conducting a review of the scheme following a consultation with letting agents, private tenants and landlords which ended on the 19th November 2018.
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