Residential Landlords Association (RLA)
February licensing update for landlords
We’re already into the second month of 2020 and it is fair to say the last month has been a busy one in terms of licensing-related news.
Each month in our Licensing Update blog, we put together a list of ongoing licensing consultations, which is updated throughout the month and share important licensing news and the RLA’s most recent responses.
Licensing in the news
Government blocks Liverpool licensing scheme renewal
Last month we reported on news that the Government blocked plans put forward by Liverpool City Council to renew a city-wide licensing scheme in Liverpool, following campaigning by the RLA. Read more
Waltham-Forest licensing scheme gets the go ahead
While the Government did block the Liverpool licensing scheme, a separate licensing scheme in Waltham Forest was given the go ahead.
Government approval is needed for schemes which cover more than 20% of a council area. This scheme, which will cover 18 out of 20 wards in the borough, will come into affect on 1st May 2020. It will run for a period of five years ending on Wednesday 30 April 2025. Read more.
Current licensing consultations
The City and County of Cardiff – Renewal of additional licensing for HMO’s in the Plasnewydd Ward – (Closes 14 February)
The RLA are seeking clarity on the consultation time frame, which we believe does not give landlords enough time to respond with the small time frame including over holidays. However, we would encourage landlords to respond as quickly as possible.
Cardiff Council are proposing to reintroduce the additional licensing scheme in the Plasnewydd area of the city.
When a scheme has been granted, additional licensing can run for a five-year period, with the current scheme ending late 2019. The council are now looking to reintroduce the scheme for an additional five years.
You can access the consultation here and read the RLA’s response to this consultation here.
The City and County of Swansea – Renewal of the Additional HMO Licensing scheme for the Castle and Uplands wards and introduction of HMO licensing in the St Thomas Ward – (Closes 19th February 2020)
Swansea Council are consulting on their proposal to renew the additional licensing scheme for all HMO’s operating in the Castle and Uplands wards, including those that are below the mandatory threshold of being three storeys high or having at least five occupants.
The council are looking to use discretionary powers to continue an Additional HMO Licensing Scheme which would include the smaller, lower risk HMOs that fall outside mandatory licensing.
Further to this, Swansea are looking to further extend these discretionary powers to include a new scheme to introduce the same policy in the St. Thomas ward of the city.
Licenses will be granted over the recommendation that the HMO is reasonably suitable for occupation, that the license applicant is a fit and proper person and that suitable management arrangements are in place. A administration fee will be in place to cover the authorities costs to administer the scheme.
Hastings Council – selective licensing consultation (Closes 6th March)
The current selective licensing scheme in Hastings was introduced on 15th October 2015, and the five year scheme is due to expire in 2020.
The scheme that is being proposed and consulted on would require landlords to licence all privately rented flats and houses that are occupied by one household (i.e. single persons or couples, or one family) in the 6 wards of Braybrooke, Castle, Central St Leonards, Gensing, Old Hastings and Tressell. Have your say on the plans here.
Camden Council – Additional HMO licensing scheme renewal (Closes 8th March 2020)
In 2015 Camden Council introduced a borough wise additional licensing scheme for Houses of Multiple Occupation. The five year scheme is now up for renewal, and landlords are being invited to share their views on the proposals and attend some drop in sessions the Council is running. To have your say on the plans, click here.
Read the RLA’s response to this consultation here.
Croydon Council – Selective licensing consultation – (Closes 9th March 2020)
A borough-wide selective licensing scheme was introduced in Croydon in 2015, meaning that it is due to expire in 2020.
The council is now consulting on plans to introduce a new licensing scheme to cover all or most of the borough, to take effect from Autumn 2020. Landlords can read more about the plans and have their say here.
Bournemouth Council (closes 6th April)
Bournemouth Council is considering licensing proposals to include Selective and Additional Licensing in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole. Read more here
Learn more about licensing
Want to learn more about selective or additional licensing? Read our online guide for landlords.
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