Residential Landlords Association (RLA)
RLA opposes plans to renew Wirral selective licensing scheme
Plans to renew and extend a selective licensing scheme in Wirral have been opposed by the RLA.
Wirral Council has put forward plans to re-designate four existing selective licensing areas that are due to expire at the end of June 2020. These areas include Birkenhead South, Egerton North, Egremont Promenade South and Seacombe Library.
In addition to this, the council also wants to extend selective licensing to include the areas of Egremont South and Tranmere Lairds.
This means that landlords in these areas would be required to pay £645 to obtain a licence in order to lawfully rent out their property.
The RLA’s consultation response
The RLA has objected to plans to renew and expand the licensing scheme, arguing that the Council already has the necessary tools in order to tackle poor housing management, granted to them under the Housing and Planning Act 2016 and the Housing Act 2004. This includes the ability to issue civil penalty notices and banning orders.
Rather than introducing bureaucratic licensing schemes, the RLA says that the Council should make full use of the powers already available to them, not least because the focus of council staff would become processing licences, rather than improving property conditions.
Concerns about the fee structure
Wirral Council is proposing to charge landlords:
- A £50 fee if they want to pay the licensing fee in installments,
- A £50 fee if landlords want to submit a paper-based application, instead of an electronic application
The RLA believes this to be potentially unlawful, because the Housing Act 2004 states that a fee must reflect the cost of running a scheme, and the local authority is not permitted to make a profit.
Therefore, if this licensing scheme does get the go-ahead, the RLA is calling on the council to remove these additional fees.
What is selective licensing?
For a local authority to declare a selective licensing area the area must be –
- An area of low housing demand and/or
- An area affected by anti-social behaviour where the private landlords have failed to take steps to control anti-social behaviour by their tenants.
- The RLA aims to respond to all local authority consultations on introducing licensing. To read our latest consultation responses, click here.
- Last month, Hounslow Council u-turned on plans to bring in a licensing scheme for landlords, following representations by the RLA and Safeagent.
Latest News from
Residential Landlords Association (RLA)
Disappointment as six-month notice period introduced in Wales27/07/2020 14:25:00
Landlords in Wales will need to give tenants six-months’ notice when repossessing homes under new rules recently (23 July 2020) announced by the Welsh Government in response to the Covid-19 crisis.
Possessions win as Housing Minster quotes NRLA in Commons debate27/07/2020 11:25:00
The NRLA was referenced several times by the Housing Minister Christopher Pincher MP in the Commons when discussing the end to the ban on repossessions next month.
Housing Minster quotes NRLA in Commons repossessions debate23/07/2020 14:25:00
The NRLA was referenced several times by the Housing Minister Christopher Pincher MP in the Commons yesterday when discussing the end to the ban on repossessions next month.
Courts: New repossession rules23/07/2020 10:33:00
The strict procedures landlords must now follow when bringing forward possession cases have been laid out by government.
Today in politics: Making Tax Digital and Right to Rent22/07/2020 16:25:00
We look at the government announcement on Making Tax Digital – and a question to Priti Patel on Right to Rent
Making Tax Digital roll out announced – but is the timing right?22/07/2020 12:33:00
More landlords will have to use the government’s new digital tax system from April 2022 the Government yesterday announced – with most needing to comply by 2023.
Today in politics: Spending review, safety bill, benefits and Renters’ Reform21/07/2020 16:25:00
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has launched the spending review, with the government’s draft safety bill also published today.
Lessons from Lockdown: A New Look at Tenancy Deposit Protection21/07/2020 10:33:00
As the Covid-19 lockdown cautiously and gradually eases, Tenancy Deposit Scheme (TDS) takes a look at the valuable lessons we can take from the experience, regarding tenancy deposit protection.