Consultation underway on plans to renew property licensing scheme in Croydon

Monday, January 27th, 2020 - Croydon Council

With Croydon’s selective licensing scheme set to end on 30 September 2020, the council have started consulting on plans to extend property licensing for another five years.

Since the selective licensing scheme started in 2015, Croydon Council have:

  • Received over 35,000 licence applications
  • Inspected more than 11,000 properties
  • Banned 66 properties from being let
  • Issued financial penalties or prosecuted 33 landlords

The council say that their landlord licensing team have been monitoring private rented homes based on a combination of proactive inspections, online checks, responding to tenant complaints and answering public queries.

According to the council, most issues from fixing appliances to ensuring fire safety are resolved informally without needing an improvement notice or prosecution. However, when landlords let unlicensed properties or fail to take appropriate action, they can face enforcement action.

In October 2019, a landlord and two related companies were prosecution and fined for failing to license a New Addington flat or answer requests for information. The council also issued them with an improvement notice for having no smoke detectors and defective electrics.

Other prosecutions include two landlords fined £4,000 each for letting a damp and mouldy Croydon house and a landlord fined over £6,000 for renting out a flat with inadequate fire safety measures.

Consultation on two selective licensing proposals for Croydon

With selective licensing schemes limited to five years, the council are consulting on two proposals for introducing a replacement scheme.

Proposal 1 involves a like for like borough wide scheme covering all private rented homes that are not already licensable under the mandatory HMO licensing scheme.

Proposal 2 involves a more limited scheme covering around 97% of all private rented homes. We understand this scheme would include 22 council wards plus another 16 smaller areas within the remaining 6 wards. The six wards with more restricted licensing would be Kenley, New Addington, Old Coulsdon, Sanderstead, Selsdon & Addington Village and Shirley South.

With both licensing proposals exceeding the 20% threshold (explained here), the council must obtain Secretary of State approval before a new scheme can be introduced.

Before seeking government approval, the council is undertaking a public consultation exercise with all interested parties. The consultation started on 16 December 2019 and continues until 9 March 2019. More information can be found on the council’s website.

Croydon Council selective licensing consultation 2019/20

Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services at Croydon Council said:

Our landlord licensing scheme has raised living standards for thousands of local private tenants, and we want to renew it so they continue to have good-quality homes.

Whether you are a private landlord, their tenant or an interested neighbour, I urge as many local people as possible to take part in our consultation to help shape our proposals before we submit them for Government approval.

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

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