Private Rented Sector Licencing Debate

by Readers Question

19:17 PM, 25th September 2012
About 7 years ago

Private Rented Sector Licencing Debate

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Private Rented Sector Licencing Debate

Richard Cubitt, a reader of Property118 has submitted the following summary of Private Rented Sector Licencing. In an email to the Editor or Property118 Richard said “All of this information is all in the public domain but I think that the wider implications are worth bringing to general attention. Thin edge of the wedge!! The application form is something else. 11 pages of detailed information.”

The Housing Act 2004 appears to have provided for three types of Licences within the private rented sector:

Mandatory HMO licensing applies to all HMOs of three or more storeys, occupied by five or more persons living in two or more households. It is intended to apply to those HMOs considered to present the highest risk to the health, safety and welfare of the occupiers.

Additional licensing schemes are set up to deal with problems of either anti-social behaviour (ASB) or low housing demand found within a local authority .It applies to all private rented houses or flats rented to three or more occupants within a designated area agreed by local authority consent

Selective licensing schemes are set up to deal with problems of either anti-social behaviour (ASB) or low housing demand found within a local authority. It applies to all private rented properties within a designated area agreed by the government.

Newham is to become the first borough in the country to license all private landlords. The Mayor and Newham councillors approved the ‘pioneering scheme’ – covering an estimated 35,000 private tenancies (one in three of all the borough’s households)

Newham Council are introducing selective licensing for all private rented properties within the borough.

With effect from 1st January 2013 you will be required to have a license for each rental property you own.

Newham is the first borough in the country to bring in such a scheme

If you apply before 1st January 2013 the cost will be £150.00 per property.

If you do not make the application by 1st January the charge increases to £500.00 per property. And if you do not apply you may face a fine of up to £20,000.00 per property.

Were we aware that the provision of the 2004 Act provided such a blanket licencing system?

A new way for local authorities to raise funding?

How long will it be before all local authorities in the country follow?



Comments

4:34 AM, 27th September 2012
About 7 years ago

The LibDems have just voted for licensing of LL and LA I think and Managing Agents

mike wilson

12:53 PM, 27th September 2012
About 7 years ago

Of course this refers to England. In Scotland licensing of all landlords has been required for a number of years. Imagine you can't rent out your own home without having to be registered and of course your wife too if she owns the house. I work in the oil industry and have had to move around about once every two years - often at quite short notice. Unfortunately our legislators don't think about how these rules affect people. Wasn't able to rent out the house until paperwork came through....

Moreover HMO licensing has been is existence since around 2002. This now covers all houses/flats where 3 or more unrelated people live together. Did our legislators think this through? Well what would be the consequence? Sudden increase in prices of 2 bed properties? Then of course are our legislators reasonable? Do they chase after the unregistered landlords or do they force upgrades of perfectly reasonable houses? The honest reasonable landlords? Yes I have had to 'upgrade' houses and flats where owner occupiers do not have to? Why? Regulation gone mad!

Yes you are also correct it is an easy source of money. Aberdeen City Council increased fees from £255 to £1200 and had planned to go to £1500. But of course landlords did spot this and reported them to the Government Auditor. Fees are now aound £450 but for what? Have bad landlords been found? Well I have not noticed any in the press recently. So yes its a 'jobs for the boys'. And a source of easy income. Tip: check whether the legislation requires the council to ring fence the account. If not start lobbying now!! And tip 2 use freedom of information to ask for details of income and expenditure on the hmo/landlord accounts.

Devon Landlord

15:34 PM, 27th September 2012
About 7 years ago

As a landlord, and even as a law abiding citizen I am happy to apply for a licence if I can see a good reason for doing so. I can see the sense in becoming a member of a LL Association because I get something out of it, but what am I going to get out of a licence for my property. Will I get direct payment of the housing benefit element of the Universal Credit? Perhaps? Will I be able to get rid of terrible tenants quickly with little fuss? I doubt it. Will I get someone from housing standards making rediculous requests in a jobsworth attempt to justify their existance? You bet!!
Newham will make about £4Million just out of the licencing process which no doubt will entail an increase in unnecessary staffing costs at my expence if I had a property there, which I might have. What Landlords need to do is to refuse to pay up. What will the Borough do? Take out 35,000 prosecutions? I would not be surprised if they decided to do so as it gives more people employment at our expence. What their actions, in the medium to long term, probably will do is to discourage landlords from being landlords. I somtimes wonder if we are bonkers being landlords as the return we get on our investment is low and the administrative burben gets bigger and bigger. What we all ought to do is vote out the idiot decision makers and stand for office with the stated intention of removing annecessary legislation and red tape. I propose that we should all vote for the 'dog wagging the tail party'. This could be a warcry for the GOOD landlords campaign which I certainly support!

2:39 AM, 28th September 2012
About 7 years ago

Unfortunately as an electoral force; 1 1/2 million LL will have little sympathy in govt.
I somehow thing the cry of 'support your local LL, will gain little pulblic sympathy!!
I am afraid LL will continue to be shafted by govt and councils and will not receive any help at all from anyone.
As a LL you are on your own to be ripped by tenant and councils alike.
No change there then!?
All you can do is try and increase the rent to cover the additional costs.
This is unlikely to be readily achievable.
One way of getting back at govt is to ensure that if every LL is going to be licenced then all LL notify the LVO of all the rents of all your properties.
This will have the effect of increasing the LHA rates as very few rents are used to arrive at the BRMA LHA bands.
They only contact some LA to make the LHA assessments.
If ALL the rents were registered than the govt would find the LHA rates would increase.
Licensing LL could be a poisoned chalice for the councils and govt when they find the LHA rates will have to be increased based on all the actual rents being charged by ALL LL!!!

Mark Alexander

8:48 AM, 28th September 2012
About 7 years ago

Thanks for mentioning The GOOD Landlords Campaign, have you signed up yet? I'm counting on all Landlords Associations such as Devon to raise awareness of the campaign. In turn I sure the campaign will raise awareness of landlords associations and help them to grow too. Link here >>> http://www.property118.com/index.php/the-good-landlords-campaign/

17:20 PM, 29th September 2012
About 7 years ago

surely it should be the landlord who is licenced not the property, by licensing properties this just becomed a money generating racket.


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