Licensing needs to go back to the drawing board

Licensing needs to go back to the drawing board

14:39 PM, 14th October 2019, About 3 years ago 5

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Research for safeagent conducted by London Property Licensing has recently uncovered over 130,000 unlicensed properties in London which should be licensed under either selective, additional or mandatory HMO licensing schemes.

FOI requests indicated there are over 310,000 private rented properties in London that require licensing under mandatory HMO, additional and selective licensing schemes implemented under the Housing Act 2004. However, in London Licence only 25% of the 138,500 private rented properties have applied for a licence that are require to.

Isobel Thomson, safeagent CEO, said:

“The results of the survey are concerning. Consumers are not being well served and indeed many are being placed at risk through this mish mash of licensing schemes. Right now, the system isn’t fit for purpose and Councils are drowning in paperwork. Landlords needing property licences are either deliberately evading the schemes or are in the dark concerning their legal responsibilities and tenants are being placed at risk.

“If the compliance rate for HMO licensing schemes is only 25%, how can these schemes be effective? Ultimately this is about proper use of public money and consumer protection. Where are the assessment procedures for Councils who have schemes in place? Isn’t it time we went back to the drawing board to come up with a simple, streamlined system that works for all?“


Rob Crawford

16:57 PM, 14th October 2019, About 3 years ago

Councils are so busy implementing licensing schemes and conducting post application inspections etc that they don't make the time to search for and prosecute non-licensed landlords! I agree with Safe Agent, "....the system isn’t fit for purpose...".

Laura Delow

8:09 AM, 16th October 2019, About 3 years ago

We applied for a Selective Licence on 16th Dec 2018 for one of our properties in Redbridge/Essex & we are still waiting 10 months later for our application to be approved. We chased this twice & on both occasions the reply is "...we do have a large backlog of applications that we are working through in order of it may be a few months before you receive your draft licence". Elsewhere in Newham/London, we have 2 x 5 year licences now both in their 7th year (renewed the 5 year licences in 2018), yet not one inspection. Therefore it seems our fees are either paying for admin staff to process applications albeit slowly, or to fill their depleted coffers since the credit crunch as I see no evidence of a reduction in rogue landlords in these regions.

Mick Roberts View Profile

8:54 AM, 19th October 2019, About 3 years ago

Nottingham Council when they bought in their scheme thought about everything that you'd have to do for a new build.
And then asked Letting Agents, what would be your conditions for the most strictest poshest loads of money Letting Agent tenant?

And then the Council said There u go Landlords, we now gonna' enforce these on u even though we've gave u lots of tenants over the last 22 years who we know ain't gonna' abide by these conditions & if they don't cut the grass every week, it's down to u & u getting fined for it if it's too long.

And now 16 months later, with the horrendous homeless the council is encountering, they saying We realise we may have not got it right in the past, we wish to build bridges moving forward.
However, this doesn't help the tenants who's had the rent increases to pay for this. And the tenants who's been evicted for house damage that Licensing was going to pick up on & make Landlord repair.
And Licensing has not offered to maybe say Tell u what, we will only apply the conditions to NEW tenants/tenancies.

And also THERE IS 16,000 Landlords not come forward, some of them Rogues, some of them not aware, some of them trying to sell & Get me out of here. This is also why Licensing are being nice. They are 50% short on their income budget.

It's just been a massive paperwork exercise.
They don't know who is renting out & not got a License.

16 months later, thousands of Landlords not got their License, yet already paid £780 for Council to create some new jobs. Rogue Landlords loving it.
Good houses good tenants houses have got worse cause now less funds.

Anne Nixon

9:20 AM, 19th October 2019, About 3 years ago

Reply to the comment left by Mick Roberts at 19/10/2019 - 08:54
What a pantomime! and the innocent victims getting caught up in it are those landlords who abide by the law and the poorest tenants who can't vote with their feet

Monty Bodkin

9:52 AM, 19th October 2019, About 3 years ago

Nottingham has seen the highest percentage rise in rent compared to anywhere else in the country - with a controversial licensing scheme being blamed for the hike.

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