Islington additional and selective licensing schemes started on 1 February 2021

Thursday, February 4th, 2021 - Islington Council

Havering additional and selective licensing schemes implemented January 2021

New additional and selective landlord licensing schemes came into force in the London Borough of Islington on 1 February 2021.

The new licensing schemes were approved at Islington Council’s executive meeting on 19 March 2020 but scheme implementation was delayed due to the pandemic.

The council previously operated a small additional licensing scheme covering Caledonian Road and Holloway Road but that scheme ended on 31 August 2020 (read here).

Three property licensing schemes in Islington

In addition to the mandatory HMO licensing scheme that applies across England, the council has introduced additional and selective licensing schemes.

The additional licensing scheme applies to all Houses in Multiple Occupation throughout the borough. The council have restricting the licensing of section 257 HMOs to situations where all of the flats are privately rented and under one single freehold ownership.

The selective licensing scheme extends licensing to all private rented properties in the council’s Finsbury Park ward.

According to the council, the additional licensing scheme will include about 3,500 HMOs and the selective licensing scheme will include another 2,000 private rented properties.

How much will a licence cost?

Islington Council has introduced a standard application fee of £288 per letting for the additional licensing scheme. A letting is defined as a bedsit or bedroom in shared accommodation. There are different fees for section 257 HMOs.

There is a standard application fee of £500 per property for the selective licensing scheme.

Both schemes offer a discount to accredited landlords.

Impact of the coronavirus pandemic

Whilst safeagent, in conjunction with London Property Licensing, recently called for new licensing schemes to be delayed (read here), Islington Council has decided to proceed with the implementation process.

In recognition of the challenges posed by the pandemic, a council spokesperson told London Property Licensing they were trying to adopt an equitable approach. In particular:

  • The council recognise that many landlords, agents and their contractors are unable to visit the property to carry out works and obtain safety certification. And equally that many tenants are uneasy or not prepared to allow access for these visits given the current situation.
  • The council is operating a grace period from 1 February to 31 May 2021. During this period, they will not take enforcement action against landlords & agents operating unlicensed properties. Instead, they will be working hard to negotiate, persuade and assist landlords and agents in applying for the relevant licences.
  • Licence applications submitted with missing paperwork will be accepted and licences granted on the basis that the certificates need to be provided when it is safe to do so.
  • Licences will be granted prior to inspection. They will prioritise inspections according to risk when it is safe to do so.

Islington Council has asked us to share this information with landlords and agents via our website.

During the advertised grace period, London Property Licensing is reminding landlords that they could still be subject to Rent Repayment Order applications submitted by their tenants (read here). Detailed records should be kept to help justify any delay in applying for a licence.

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

For all the latest news and events, you can sign up for the free London Property Licensing newsletter here.