Consultation underway on second phase selective licensing scheme in Barnet, but what’s happening with phase one?

Thursday, May 18th, 2023 - London Property Licensing

Barnet Council is consulting on a second phase selective licensing scheme covering ten council wards.

With the first phase selective licensing scheme not yet implemented, landlords and agents may understandably be confused about what is happening. London Property Licensing has been looking into the issue and will try to explain.

Original licensing consultation

From 5 August to 5 November 2021, Barnet Council consulted on plans for additional and selective licensing.

The plans included borough wide additional licensing plus selective licensing in nine council wards.

On 26 July 2022, Barnet Council made a borough wide additional licensing designation which came into force on 27 October 2022. The additional licensing scheme is restricted to Houses in Multiple Occupation.

Decision on selective licensing

The arrangements for selective licensing in Barnet are more opaque. An undated entry on the council’s website explains a selective licensing scheme in Burnt Oak, Collindale North and Colindale South has been approved and is expected to start from January 2023 (read here).

No selective licensing scheme was implemented in January 2023. In early February 2023, Barnet Council told London Property Licensing that the earliest implementation date for the selective licensing scheme would be July / August 2023.

Further selective licensing consultation

Meanwhile, on 22 February 2023, Barnet Council started consulting on proposals for a phase 2 selective licensing scheme covering ten wards. It says this was in addition to a selective licensing scheme in Burnt Oak, Collindale North and Colindale South starting Summer 2023.

London Property Licensing was notified when the consultation started but then asked to delete the notification and not to publish anything due to a data protection issue.

Having chased the council for an update in April 2023, London Property Licensing was told the consultation did start on 22 February 2023 and the information could have been shared. Given the council’s insistence that information about the consultation was not shared, the consultation end date has been extended to 22 July 2023.

Confusion remains about whether the first phase selective licensing scheme is starting in Summer 2023. To date, there is no detailed phase 1 selective licensing scheme information on the council’s website, and no indication any scheme designation has been made, which must be done at least three months before the scheme starts.

Richard Tacagni, MD, London Property Licensing commented:

The situation in Barnet is a good example of why clear communication is so important. With failure to obtain a licence a criminal offence, councils must endeavour to provide timely and accurate information about licensing requirements to ensure landlords and agents can achieve compliance.

If a selective licensing scheme designation has been made, it must be published, the start date confirmed, and landlords and agents given ample time to apply. If there is no scheme designation, clear messaging is needed to explain that.

You can find out more and take part in the phase 2 selective licensing consultation on the council’s website.

Our free guide containing more information about property licensing and HMO planning restrictions in the London Borough of Barnet is available here.

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