Barking and Dagenham introduce new selective licensing scheme but their additional licensing scheme has ended

Sunday, September 1st, 2019 -

On 1 September 2019, the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham introduced a borough wide selective licensing scheme to replace the previous scheme that expired on 31 August.

Whilst the selective licensing scheme has been renewed, the council’s additional licensing scheme that applied to smaller HMOs has ended.

A council spokesperson told London Property Licensing that no decision has yet been made about whether to implement a replacement additional licensing scheme. They do however intend to launch a consultation soon – possibly later this month.

Before introducing a replacement additional licensing scheme, the council must carry out a public consultation for at least 10 weeks. Thereafter, once Cabinet approve plans for a replacement scheme, the council must give at least three months’ notice before the scheme can start. This indicates the earliest start date could be late February 2020.

Interim licensing arrangements

From 1 September 2019, when individual additional HMO licences expire, the council has confirmed that Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) not licensable under the mandatory HMO licensing scheme will instead need a selective licence.

This is different from the advice recently given out on the council’s telephone helpline (read here).

Asked what would happen to HMOs licensed under the selective scheme if an additional licensing scheme is introduced next year, a council spokesperson told London Property Licensing that selective licences issued for HMOs would be revoked. New additional licences would then be approved without the need to reapply. How this would work in practice is unclear as licences cannot be transferred.

What licence is needed for your property?

With the additional licensing scheme having ended, there are now just two licensing schemes operating in Barking & Dagenham.

A mandatory HMO licence is needed for most HMOs occupied by five or more people. All other private rented properties will need a selective licence unless they fall into one of the statutory exemptions.

A free guide containing more detailed information about property licensing in the London Borough of Barking & Dagenham is available here.

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