Selective Licensing Scheme ‘Additional Powers’ Ruled Illegal By Court of Appeal

by Mark Alexander

16:37 PM, 22nd February 2018
About 2 years ago

Selective Licensing Scheme ‘Additional Powers’ Ruled Illegal By Court of Appeal

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Selective Licensing Scheme ‘Additional Powers’ Ruled Illegal By Court of Appeal

24Housing has reported that the Court of Appeal has ruled that councils cannot use selective licensing conditions to impose new standards on private rented homes.

Paul Brown, a landlord in Accrington, is challenging Hyndburn Council which sought to use its selective licensing scheme in certain areas of the borough to force the installation of carbon monoxide detectors and also to carry out electrical safety checks and implement their findings.

Brown was backed by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA).

The court heard that Brown had already carried out both of the requirements, but argued that imposing such standards through licensing schemes went beyond the powers available to local authorities.

Brown and the RLA argued that rather than relying on licensing schemes which only cover certain properties, electrical and gas safety issues are best addressed by councils using the extensive powers they already have under the Housing, Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

This is the risk-based evaluation tool to help local authorities identify and protect against potential risks and hazards to health and safety from any deficiencies identified in dwellings.

It applies to all private rented homes, whether they require a licence or not.

After the case the RLA called for the guidance associated with the HHSRS – which was last published in 2006 – to be ‘urgently’ updated to reflect the considerable changes in the sector since.

This, said RLA policy advisor, Richard Jones, would better support councils to use and enforce their powers under this system.

The case was not about trying to stop councils from imposing requirements, it was about how they go about this – ensuring that they use the proper processes which already exist.

“Today’s judgement is a reminder that councils already have extensive powers to deal with properties found to be unsafe and they must act in a legal manner,” he said.

Questions this raises are:-

How will this ruling will impact other Selective Licensing Schemes?

Are other Selective Licensing Schemes legal?

Will landlords be entitled to claim a refund of licencing fees?

No doubt, much of this will be debated in the commenting thread below, but we will be asking our Hon. Legal Counsel to provide a briefing note on this and we will send it free of charge to all landlords who complete the form below.

Selective Licensing Case Law Update



18:27 PM, 27th February 2018
About 2 years ago

Well done for the victory. However, some of these councils are charging silly sums of money. Does it really cost £750 to issue a license? Some councils have produced a break down and it involves almost 16 hours gazing at a landlord application!

Mick Roberts

10:45 AM, 4th July 2018
About 2 years ago

Can you Landlords please sign this & forward to all your contacts.
A small hope, we have to try anything & everything.

I'm sure we not get 10k signatures, but the more Licensing & Govt start to see these things, who knows.

“Petition calling for a review of Nottingham City Councils Selective Licensing."

Whiteskifreak Surrey

10:46 AM, 4th July 2018
About 2 years ago


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