Selective Licensing has been introduced in many cities across the UK. Now Leicester City Council is considering introducing its own Selective Licensing scheme. What could it mean for you?
Your starter for 10, what is a Selective License? For a further five points can you explain how it will affect you? There is no shame if you don’t know the answer to these questions, as it is not something that is common in all cities, but it might be time to get up to speed with what is involved.
In essence, this change allows local authorities to designate selective licensing areas in neighbourhoods if the area is experiencing one or more of the following conditions:
- Low housing demand (or is likely to become such an area)
- A significant and persistent problem caused by antisocial behaviour
- Poor property condition
- High levels of migration
- High level of deprivation
- High levels of crime
Leicester City Council is considering the introduction of Selective Licensing to areas of the city where there are high levels of private rented accommodation. These include parts of:
- Braunstone Park and Rowley Fields
These areas include significant concentrations of students and so they will potentially affect all landlords renting to students at DMU and UOL. The intention is to sweep up all properties that do not already require a mandatory licence and extend licencing to cover virtually all private tenancies. Landlords will be charged a fee for a licence and an inspection will be required. You can find the Council’s FAQ here: https://bit.ly/2O5poTD
The scheme could also be introduced to other parts of the city if it was considered appropriate. The Council has explained that under Selective Licensing anyone who rents out a property in a designated area would be required to be licensed. The Council will check that the landlord is a ‘fit and proper person’ and, through compliance with licensing conditions, is providing safe and well managed accommodation. A landlord in breach of their license may be issued a civil penalty or be prosecuted.
Selective Licensing schemes have been established in many places around the country, with local authorities reporting the following benefits for their communities:
- Better housing
- Increased housing demand
- Reduced crime and anti-social behaviour
- Image of the neighbourhood is improved and more desirable to live in
- Improved security and more settled communities
- Reduced number of empty properties
- Reduced environmental problems, such as graffiti, litter and fly-tipping
- Protection of vulnerable people who currently live in poor condition properties.
Leicester City Council is working towards a Selective Licensing scheme for less that 20% of the city’s private rented sector and less that 20% of the city’s geographical area. This means that the designation can be made by Leicester City Council and does not require confirmation by the Secretary of State.
The decision on designating areas in Leicester for Selective Licensing will be made in early 2020. A decision will also be made on how long the designation will last. A designation can be in force for a maximum of five years. To take part in the consultation here: https://bit.ly/2O6ZMWp
The consultation closes on May 5 2019.