Property licensing consultation gets the green light in the London Borough of Enfield
As reported last month, research by London Property Licensing uncovered plans by Enfield Council to introduce borough wide additional licensing together with a selective licensing scheme covering two thirds of the borough (read here).
Following a decision by the council’s Cabinet Member for Licensing and Regulatory Services to launch a licensing consultation, the decision was ‘called-in’ by eight councillors who were unhappy with the proposal.
The matter was then discussed at the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on Monday 15 July 2019.
According to draft minutes published on the council’s website, the Committee received a report from the Director of Law and Governance outlining details of the call-in, whilst also acknowledging a letter submitted by London Property Licensing, although it was not considered at the meeting. Instead, it is understood copies were forwarded to the relevant officers and the Cabinet member to consider.
In presenting the reasons for the call-in, Councillor Smith referred to various issues including concerns about the evidence base and the proposed scope of the licensing scheme, concern the proposed licence fee would be passed onto tenants, and the council’s ability to use alternative enforcement powers. The councillor called for the scheme to either be abandoned or greatly scaled back.
The Cabinet Member and senior officers responded to these concerns and spoke in favour of the proposed consultation. They outlined their belief that the evidence base satisfied legal requirements, said it had been independently analysed and that they had obtained Counsel opinion.
There followed a discussion on the merits of the licensing proposal.
In summing up, the Cabinet Member said they thought the proposed licensing scheme would protect the good landlords and prosecute the bad ones where necessary.
The call-in was then voted on by four councillors on the Committee, with three voting in support of the Cabinet Member’s decision and one voting against. It is understood three other councillors on the Committee sent their apologies.
It is not yet known when the property licensing consultation will start.
The minutes of the Overview and Scrutiny meeting can be viewed here.
A free guide containing more detailed information about property licensing in the London Borough of Enfield is available here.
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