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Licensing schemes to raise property standards expected later this year

Published: Fri 26th March, 2021

Two licensing schemes for landlords of private properties in Charnwood are expected to be introduced later this year.

Charnwood Borough Council has been consulting with landlords, residents, and businesses on the Additional and Selective Licensing schemes since last summer.

Additional Licensing is a borough wide scheme and is for any house in multiple occupation (HMO) which does not already hold a mandatory licence. It will require HMO landlords not covered by the mandatory scheme to apply for a licence. This scheme will cover all HMOs occupied by three or four unrelated persons and buildings converted into self-contained flats where they are occupied by tenants.

Additional Licensing will mean all HMOs in Charnwood have to be licensed and therefore all tenants of HMOs will have the same rights and the aim is to improve the standard of housing.

Selective Licensing focuses on privately rented accommodation in the Hastings and Lemyngton wards in Loughborough. Selective Licensing requires all landlords operating within a designated area to licence their property.

Selective Licensing aims to improve management and property standards for tenants.

The schemes were due to be introduced in April. However, the schemes are expected to be introduced later in the year because the process has taken longer than planned.

The Selective Licensing scheme needs to be approved by the Secretary of State. There is no set timescale on how long this will take but the Council will only introduce both schemes, when the secretary of State has given approval for the selective scheme.

Once that has happened, a confirmed start date and a public notice will be issued for each licensing scheme.

The Council recently held consultations on the conditions for both licensing schemes. The consultations on the conditions are in addition to an earlier round of consultation on the schemes.

More than 400 residents, landlords and businesses submitted their views on proposed conditions. Thank you to everyone who took their time to provide their feedback.

There are mandatory conditions for both schemes which are legally required on the licence, including conditions relating to gas and electrical safety, smoke alarms and storage and disposal of household waste.

In addition, the Council can attach local conditions to licences. These include conditions relating to energy performance, security, property management and dealing with anti-social behaviour.

The conditions for each licence will last for five years.

Landlords will be responsible for paying for the licence and any income generated from the fees will only be used to cover the scheme’s running costs.

Councils can introduce licensing under the Housing Act 2004, to address issues including poor property conditions, significant anti-social behaviour, migration, high levels of deprivation or high levels of crime.

Landlords which would like for further updates on the scheme can register for the Council’s Landlords Newsletter here: http://bit.ly/LandlordsNewsletter 

For more information about the private sector licensing schemes please visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/pslc