Cabinet approves licence conditions for private sector housing licensing schemes

Published: Wed 21st July, 2021

Charnwood Borough Council’s Cabinet has approved licence conditions for two schemes for private landlords.

Cabinet members approved the conditions for the Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and Selective Licensing schemes at a meeting on Thursday 1 July 2021.

The two schemes, that aim to improve the quality of privately rented accommodation and reduce its impact on the local community, will be introduced from January 2022.

HMO Licensing is a borough-wide scheme for any HMO which does not already hold a mandatory licence and is occupied by three or four unrelated persons.

Selective Licensing in the Hastings and Lemyngton wards in Loughborough focuses on privately rented accommodation and aims to improve standards. Selective Licensing requires all landlords operating within the two wards to licence their property.

The conditions for each scheme relate to the management of the property and will help improve standards and issues around poorly-managed properties.

These include conditions relating to gas and electrical safety, smoke alarms, storage and disposal of household waste, energy performance, security, property management and dealing with anti-social behaviour.

The conditions for each licence will last for five years.

The Council has held two consultations over the past two years on the licensing schemes and then the licence conditions.

Cllr Paul Mercer, the Council’s lead member for private housing said: “I am pleased the conditions for these licensing schemes have been approved and we can now move forward with implementing the schemes from January 2022.

"There are many good landlords in the borough who care about their tenants and understand their broader responsibilities, but we have some properties which are poorly managed or have a negative effect on the community.

"These licensing schemes will help to improve the standards of properties for tenants and the impact HMOs have on the local area.

“I would like to thank everyone for taking the time to have their say on the two consultations held in relation to the schemes and the licence conditions.

"Alongside the consultations we have also hosted several landlord forums where landlords and letting agents had the opportunity to raise questions and find out more about the schemes.

"Now the conditions have been approved, we will be working hard behind the scenes to get the schemes ready before introducing them next year.”

Landlords will be responsible for paying for the licence and any income generated from the fees will only be used to cover the schemes’ running costs; and landlords will be required to apply for a licence before the scheme is introduced.

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

More information about the licensing schemes and licence conditions can be found in the report to cabinet.

Landlords and letting agents which want to keep up to date with the latest news and information in relation to the licensing schemes can register for the Landlords Newsletter at: https://www.charnwood.gov.uk/landlordnewsletter

More information about the schemes and conditions can also be found on the Council’s website at www.charnwood.gov.uk/pslc