Additional Licensing Judicial Review

by chris wright

4 years ago

Additional Licensing Judicial Review

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Additional Licensing Judicial Review

Breaking News from Enfield High Court Will Additional Licensing Be Outlawed?

I just got off the phone and I’m delighted to report that Mr Constantinos Regas was successful in getting permission to proceed to with his Judicial Review at the Royal Courts of Justice this morning. Though not everything went his way, the judge didn’t accept his application in full, however he is clear to proceed and challenge additional HMO licensing, the judge said that:

“Additional HMO Licensing was arguably unlawful” and probably shouldn’t be imposed on the people of Enfield

It is not known if Enfield council will be withdrawing their scheme to license the whole borough in the light of these proceedings or will spend more tax payers money to fight on at a full Judicial Review hearing against Mr Regas. One thing they have to bear in mind is senior counsel Mr Richard Clayton QC has agreed to assist Mr Regas on no win no fee basis at that hearing.

Will Additional Licensing Be Outlawed?



Comments

Its about time someone had the courage and funding to fight these arbitrary fund raising schemes.... for that is all they are

well done Mr Regas and well done Richard Clayton for taking on this case....

Yvette Newbury

4 years ago

This is amazing news, is there somewhere I can read more on the facts behind this please? Our local authority is bringing in additional licensing and I am very interested to find out more.

Milton Keynes council were going to bring it in and have been persuaded otherwise... so it is possible .......

Don Holmes

4 years ago

Well done, Liverpool will be watching this closely!

Good Luck

Nicola Parsler

4 years ago

Unfortunately although MK have effectively dropped the idea of selective licensing they are not yet convinced that additional licensing is a bad idea. MKPLA won the first round but the councillors actually voted only to undertakle more research into the need for additional licensing. They have been conducting this very much under the wire by sending "inspectors" round to HMO's who then question the tenants. We have had complaints of them intimidating the tenants if they didn't want to let them in and certainly none of the landlords were informed about these "inspections" before they happened. The letter was written in such a way as to make it sound as if tenants had an obligation to let them in becasue they were "from the council".

Joe Bloggs

4 years ago

well done mr regas. would like to know what the grounds for JR were. licensing has made absolutely no difference in LB Newham. this is evidenced by FoI request answers i have.

I wonder if Oxford would have to refund all the millions charged in fees for their additional licensing scheme ....... And what about all the cost of meeting conditions?
I do not think that anyone could afford to say that additional licensing per se was not lawful.... It will be reviewed on a case by case basis...... I wonder if a few landlords in Oxford will now have a go at reviewing the legal justification of the scheme there?

Dr Rosalind Beck

4 years ago

With one of our licensed houses we were told we had to replace small fire extinguishers (that the girls there could pick up) with large ones (that they couldn't) and the following year the council changed the rule and said we didn't need the large ones. They've done the same thing with intumescent stripping on doors and also on self-closers. They demand we put them in at considerable cost and they then decide they're not necessary.
They're a law unto themselves, demanding whatever they want. It would be amazing to see their right to impose additional licensing revoked. It could be the next big PPR-style scandal. We could sue the councils for millions!

chris wright

4 years ago

This from Mr Regas today -

THIS PRESS RELEASE REPLACES ANY ISSUED BY US ON FRIDAY 3 OCT 2014

The High Court has found that part of Enfield's proposed landlord licensing scheme is "arguably unlawful". On Thursday 2nd October, the application by Constantinos Regas to bring a judicial review against Enfield Council's landlord licensing scheme was listed to last just half an hour at the Royal Courts of Justice. After four hours of arguments by Queen's Counsel for each side, Mr Justice Ouseley reserved judgement until the following day. The judge ruled that one part of Enfield's landlord licensing scheme should proceed to judicial review.

Enfield's landlord licensing scheme originally designated the whole borough as being subject to the new regulations from 1 April 2015. The effect of the "additional HMO licensing" scheme would be to extend licensing to any shared accommodation with 3 or more people. A separate scheme, known as "selective licensing" would license all single household homes in the private rented sector. Mr Regas was challenging both schemes.

The judge has ruled that the Cabinet took the selective licensing decision lawfully. However, he found that "the local authority has not applied its mind to the requirements for additional licensing". Mr Justice Ouseley found that Enfield Council's cabinet decision was "arguably unlawful" and that "it should not be visited upon the landlords of Enfield". Mr Regas was therefore granted permission to proceed with a judicial review of the additional HMO licensing scheme only.

Enfield Council had originally claimed that both schemes were necessary, in order to prevent perverse incentives for landlords to switch between the two types of lets. The judge found that this did not meet the legal tests and was not supported by the evidence in front of the council's cabinet.

Mr Regas said "The judgement was long and complicated. There is no clear winner. It would be wise for Enfield Council to consider this judgment carefully. They estimate that 40% of private rented properties in the borough are small HMO house-shares. This ruling calls into question the financial viability of the scheme, as well as its enforceability. It is unclear how much council subsidy would be needed to make it work and I call on the council to scrap the entire licensing scheme."

The full judicial review in relation to additional licensing is likely to be heard in November.

ENDS

Notes for editors

1. The borough is already subject to "mandatory HMO licensing", which is a national scheme applying to large houses in multiple occupation, comprising two or more households, 5 or more persons sharing amentities and 3 or more storeys.

2. Additional licensing would cover small HMOs, where two or more households of 3 or more people share facilities.

3. Households are defined at https://www.gov.uk/private-renting/houses-in-multiple-occupation

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