Time is running out have a say on proposed private sector housing licensing schemes

Residents, landlords and businesses in Charnwood are being reminded to give their views on two proposed licensing schemes.

Charnwood Borough Council launched the consultations on the two licensing schemes for private landlords in August and over 300 responses have been received across both consultations so far.

The aim of the proposed licensing schemes is to improve the quality of privately rented accommodation and reduce its impact on the local community.

One scheme is for any house in multiple occupation (HMO) which does not already hold a mandatory licence; the other focuses on privately rented accommodation within a designated area and aims to improve standards.

Additional Licensing will require HMO landlords not covered by the mandatory scheme to apply for a licence. This will cover all HMOs occupied by three or four unrelated persons and buildings converted into self-contained flats where they are occupied by tenants.

The second proposed scheme is Selective Licensing which requires all landlords operating within a designated area to licence their property. The Council is initially looking to introduce this scheme in the Hastings and Lemyngton wards in Loughborough.

There will be a range of conditions attached to each of the proposed licences which 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.

Over 30 landlords and letting agencies recently attended a Virtual Landlords Forum giving them an opportunity to find out more about the licensing schemes and ask questions.

Cllr Paul Mercer, lead member for private housing said: “Despite the pandemic we’ve already seen a good number of responses for both the proposed additional and selective licensing schemes from local businesses, residents and landlords however there is still time for even more people to give their views.

“Many landlords in the borough understand their responsibilities but unfortunately there are still properties which are poorly managed and can result in having a negative impact on the local neighbourhood. The proposed licensing schemes will be looking to tackle these issues and ensure landlords are meeting the conditions set out in the licences.

“We had a good attendance at our last virtual landlord’s forum and it was good to discuss the proposed schemes with a number of landlords and answer their questions and concerns.

“The draft policy documents are available for people to view online and I would encourage residents, landlords and local businesses to have a look and give us their views by completing the online survey.”

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.

For more information about each proposed scheme and to take part in the online consultation visit www.charnwood.gov.uk/pslc

The consultations close on Friday 23rd October.
http://www.charnwood.gov.uk/pslc

Following the consultations, Cabinet will consider whether to adopt the proposed licensing schemes in December.