Haringey Council Selective Licensing Scheme Spells More Misery For Both Landlords and Tenants

Haringey Council Selective Licensing Scheme Spells More Misery For Both Landlords and Tenants

8:35 AM, 24th August 2022, About 2 years ago 7

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Haringey Council are the latest to introduce Selective Licensing, but this latest iteration of far too many Council’s preferred money grabbing scheme to swell their coffers includes additional EPC rating conditions that are highly likely to further exacerbate the acute shortage of quality rental properties in their area.

Landlords who let their properties in the east of Haringey to a single family or two unrelated sharers will be required to obtain a licence from the council to legally let the home at an eye watering cost of £350, but only if they sign up early. Those late to the party will pay £600, but that’s not where the additional expense ends. To qualify for a license each property must have a far better EPC rating than is legally required in other areas. These additional costs all need to be paid for somehow and with landlords already squeezed to bursting point due to unfair tax legislation and rising interest rates they are also feeling the effects of high inflation and energy costs like everyone else. Is it any wonder that so many of them are selling up?

The knock on effects of a shrinking rental market is increased demand from renters, so those landlords who remain are naturally using this as an opportunity to achieve higher rents when their properties are re-marketed at a higher spec. Bidding wars from dozens of tenants wanting to rent the same property are becoming common place.

The new licensing scheme has been approved by the Secretary of State.

Ben Beadle, CEO of the NRLA said …

“Legally, all private rental homes need to have an EPC rating of at least E, unless they are registered as an exempt property.

“The NRLA wants to see all rental properties as energy efficient as possible. Not only is this good for tenants, it also makes properties more attractive to perspective tenants.

“ We note the support Haringey Council wants to provide to achieve this, but financially, the costs of achieving higher EPC ratings comes with a great expense, even more so, for landlords with larger portfolio’s.

“The Government needs to develop a bespoke financial package to support landlords to make the investments needed in energy efficiency measures. This needs to recognise that many rental properties are among the hardest to improve of any of the country’s housing stock.”

Property118 founder Mark Alexander said …

“Council’s need to consider how best to serve their communities. Now is not the time to add costly additional legislation in the form of Selective Licensing demanding landlords to make expensive improvements to their properties. Where they do, the outcome will be even more landlords exiting the sector. This will lead to even higher rents and immense additional pressure on those Councils to house people dealing with homelessness as a direct response to their own badly conceived policies. Is it too late for Haringey Council to see sense and scrap this crafty stealth tax to pick the pockets of their own constituents? Time will tell!”

Back in 2014, Alex Caravello who is now a Property118 Tax Consultant and shareholder, spearheaded a successful campaign to convince Milton Keynes Council to scrap their plans to extend licensing of shared housing to smaller properties that were not within the scope of mandatory licensing established by the Housing Act 2004.  More about that case can be read via the link below.


Will a similar action group be formed in Haringey? Again, time will tell, but if it is they can be assured of the full support of Property118 to publicise their progress as well as our assistance to spread the word for them.

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11:07 AM, 24th August 2022, About 2 years ago

I have a property in Haringey in one of the roads shown to need the new licensing. However, it is let to a single person. It states that licensing applies to a single family or two unrelated sharers. How do they define 'unrelated sharers?' Supposing a couple lives there but are not married? I am assuming they are related in that they are living 'as husband and wife' to quote an archaic expression. Does this mean that I don't need to license it for a single person? If I need to upgrade it beyond the legal E for EPC I won't be able to afford to do that and will sell.
Another point is that I also rent on one of the designated roads, so my landlord may see having my flat licensed as the 'nail in the coffin' as she is already fed up with existing regulations. This flat is also an 'E' and she won't pay to upgrade it. It's Victorian so would cost a lot of money.
The road where I live is largely comprised of families in owner occupied houses and has no HMO's and few rental properties. It is not what I would call an area which requires 'supervision.' I don't know how they have decided on which roads need to be licensed.
If I am evicted I will have to evict one of my long standing tenants to live in that home, thus creating more misery for tenants and fewer properties available for rental.

Jw Bryan

11:09 AM, 24th August 2022, About 2 years ago

I know I must be missing something, but I've looked at the Haringey site and can't find what they demand as the new minimum EPC rating. Can anyone help? Also, I wonder how many other local authorities will lower the number of renters to two?


12:18 PM, 24th August 2022, About 2 years ago

It doesn't specify about what any new EPC level might be. As usual this is ill thought out. As for what defines 'a family' I have decided that a single person is not a family and so I don't have to license and neither does my landlord. Does 'a family' have to have children in which case landlords won't want to rent to anybody with children, and if tenants have a baby, they would then have to license, or, as with a former tenancy of mine, where it was a mother and adult daughter sharing, would this be 'a family?' It is all too ambiguous.


13:51 PM, 24th August 2022, About 2 years ago

Where do Councils get the legal authority to over rule the Government in saying what EPC rating is required to allow a property to be rented.
The current EPC is E or above, as people have said to get a victorian house or flat up to a C is very difficult.

Luke P

13:56 PM, 24th August 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by DGM at 24/08/2022 - 13:51I’d hazard a guess at band-C. It’s the expected new minimum following Westminster’s consultation on the same but, interestingly, hasn’t yet been implemented (probably due the unworkability and the effect it would have on the sector and country as a whole). Yet ‘politics-of-envy’ local council bods want to bring that ideal in sooner.
Honestly, I reckon they believe if they mandated or legislated all residents must forevermore hover instead of walk, we’d have no choice but to figure out how to do it…either that or sCiEnCe better catch up with their looming deadline!

You cannot *will* the impossible into existence!!

Silver Flier

15:30 PM, 24th August 2022, About 2 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Jw Bryan at 24/08/2022 - 11:09
I have read through the "Proposed Conditions of a Selective Licence" downloaded from the link above and I cannot see any requirement for a grade C EPC; only that the property must have an EPC.
However, the Council is trying to make the landlord responsible for things he has no control over:
The conduct of the occupiers and their visitors;
That tenants put their waste out for collection on the correct day;
That tenants use the correct type of waste and recycling containers.

Reluctant Landlord

8:10 AM, 30th August 2022, About 2 years ago

In wondering if it is possible to play the Localism Act 2011 card here here...after all this is a tax on private Landlords only...(see bit between asterisks)

General power of competence
Local authorities’ powers and responsibilities are defined by legislation. In
simple terms, they can only do what the law says they can. Sometimes
councils are wary of doing something new - even if they think it might be a
good idea - because they are not sure whether they are allowed to in law, and
are concerned about the possibility of being challenged in the courts.
The Government has turned this assumption upside down. Instead of being
able to act only where the law says they can, local authorities will be freed to
do anything - provided they do not break other laws.
The Localism Act includes a ‘general power of competence’. *****It gives local
authorities the legal capacity to do anything that an individual can do that is
not specifically prohibited; they will not, for example, be able to impose new
taxes, as an individual has no power to tax. *****

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