Croydon Council to review options after permission for borough wide selective licensing scheme refused
From 2015 to 2020, Croydon Council ran a borough-wide selective licensing scheme covering all private rented homes.
As reported by London Property Licensing earlier this year (read here), the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, refused permission for the council to introduce a new borough wide selective licensing scheme.
A licensing report was presented at the council’s Cabinet Meeting on 16 August 2021 to update councillors on the Secretary of State’s decision.
The report notes that there are 58,585 private rented homes in the borough, more than double the social housing stock. The council estimate that 23.7% of private rented homes contain at least one serious hazard and that there are significant levels of anti-social behaviour linked to private rented homes.
The report proposes to collate and review more data before deciding on future options for regulating the private rented sector. The council has set out a timeline indicating this review process will be completed by 1 October 2021.
The report acknowledges that if new licensing schemes are to be introduced, a further public consultation exercise will be required.
The report notes that council budgets have been put under further pressure because of the licensing scheme refusal. It notes that mitigation measures are being taken and savings on staffing costs have already been made.
Councillor Patricia Hay-Justice, Croydon’s cabinet member for home, said:
“Our landlord licensing scheme allowed us to carry out much-needed proactive work – including successful prosecutions – to protect tenants and make our borough a better place to rent.
“Nearly one third of all Croydon homes are in the private-rented sector, so the need for us to continue supporting their tenants hasn’t gone away just because our renewal application was turned down.
“So later this year we will review our options on the best way forward, and if this results in any significant proposed changes we would consult residents and landlords before making a decision.“
A free guide containing more detailed information about property licensing and HMO planning rules in the London Borough of Croydon is available here.
For all the latest news and events, you can sign up for the free London Property Licensing newsletter here.