Brent Council launches consultation on new selective licensing scheme
Brent Council has launched a public consultation on extending their selective landlord licensing scheme to what we believe is the whole borough.
On 1 January 2015, Brent Council launched a borough wide additional licensing scheme covering all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) plus a selective landlord licensing scheme covering all other private rented accommodation in the council wards of Harlesden, Wembley Central and Willesden Green.
When the additional and selective licensing schemes were introduced, the council estimated that around 19,000 properties would need to be licensed – 16,000 under the additional licensing scheme and 2,823 under the selective scheme.
Figures published by Brent Council as part of the consultation exercise indicate that even though housing enforcement activity has been considerably stepped up, just over 5,500 properties have been licensed so far, with another 1,600 applications currently being processed. This indicates there could still be around 11,500 properties that need licensing under the schemes already in force, over 18 months into the five-year programme.
The council are now looking to introduce a second selective licensing scheme covering the rest of the borough which would entail licensing all private rented accommodation. This blanket approach to licensing would require approval from the Secretary of State before it could be introduced. All selective licensing schemes covering more than 20% or the borough, or 20% of private rented accommodation require government approval.
To date, the only application for borough wide selective licensing since the law changed in 2015 has been made by Redbridge Council. That application was refused by the Secretary of State in December 2015 and so Redbridge Council recently consulted again on proposals for a smaller scheme.
Brent’s selective licensing consultation is open from 30 September to 16 December 2016 and all interested parties can take part by visiting the Council’s website. Three separate consultation forms have been created for (1) landlords and managing agents, (2) residents, tenants and businesses in Brent and (3) other stakeholders.
Further information about property licensing in Brent can be found at www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/brent.