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Council seeks government approval to renew landlord licensing scheme

Croydon Council has applied for government consent to renew the borough’s landlord licensing scheme that makes sure privately-let properties meet key housing standards. 

More than 48,500 properties are covered by the council’s existing borough-wide scheme, which was launched in October 2015 with a view to ensuring private landlords meet a range of housing, environmental and safety standards.

The scheme requires all private landlords to hold a Croydon property licence and to meet certain requirements, including landlord inspections every six months, safety measures such as fire alarms, and giving tenants a proper tenancy agreement.

Cllr Alison Butler, Croydon Council’s deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services, said: “Our landlord licensing scheme has made a positive difference to the lives of thousands of private tenants across the borough, and the proposals we’ve now submitted to government are about building on this crucial work for another five years.” 

Under the scheme, the council claims that it has resolved thousands of incidents with landlords without needing further action, inspected more than 13,000 properties, served over 1,000 enforcement notices, issued 75 prohibition orders, and fined or prosecuted over 40 landlords.

Ahead of the current five-year scheme expiring on 30 September, Croydon Council carried out formal public consultation between December and March on three options for a renewed scheme. The option now submitted to the government would see the scheme cover the whole borough, targeting antisocial behaviour in six wards in the south and poor housing conditions in 22 wards mainly in the north and centre of the borough.

Under legislation introduced since Croydon’s existing scheme came into force, final government permission is now needed for any new licensing scheme if it covers more than 20% of the private rented sector or 20% of the geographical area of a borough.

The standard cost for a five-year licence would remain at £750, with discounts available including a £350 fee for current licence holders. Under the existing scheme, over 80% of applicants paid a reduced fee. Under the proposed scheme, licences would continue to last five years. If there were concerns with a landlord, they would be issued a single-year licence and have twice-yearly inspections and an annual licence review.

Butler added: “The importance of having a decent, safe and secure home has become even clearer since the pandemic lockdown, and it underlines why we need the government to approve our scheme so we can continue to raise living standards in Croydon.”

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    Another tax on decent landlords and tenants. Rogue landlords will ignore it and rogue tenants still won't leave until forced out - acting on Council advice when staying put and causing misery to neighbours and landlords alike!

    Making eviction quick and simple is the easiest way to improve the lot of all decent landlords and tenants, not more bureaucracy and licence fees!

  • Paul Barrett

    Personally I wouldn't invest in any area where Selective and Additional Licensing is required.

    I know valuers and lenders alike are concerned about such areas reducing values.

    Requiring a licence is akin to a black mark on the property.
    Plenty of places to invest in that don't require Selective and Additional Licensing.

    Just think of all those nice houses in nice areas that 'white flight' is rushing to.
    They certainly aren't going to Licensing areas.
    Must tell you something!!

    icon

    Yes. I sold some houses in an area when they introduced the licensing scheme.

     
  • icon

    Why are SRS landlords excluded from SL? My local HA had more than 1000 expired gas certificates at one stage. I've recently heard of another LA instructing a carpenter to fit normal internal doors where fire doors should be fitted, but to also fit smoke seals to make them look like fire doors.

    Why are standards in the SRS assumed to be wonderful, or is it that those tenants are expendable?

    Paul Barrett

    Yep as Grenfell proved social tenants' lives DON'T matter.
    This continues to be the case and will be the case unless and until corporate manslaughter charges could occur for Council or HA CEO.

     
    Just Mogler

    SRS (explaination).. guessing... selective residential sector???????

     
  • John Cart

    Really, a scheme that is currently so BAD that LL's who registered five years ago are waiting for the clowns from Croydon Council licencing to carry out their FIRST inspection of the property, surely as they have failed to inspect within the licencing period the LL's can claim back the licence fees as the Council have failed to operate the scheme properly.

    Just Mogler

    Lets face it...it is an income scheme. The LA get additional funds and central government do not get pressured for even more. Just a scheme like parking charges! simple but backed by law. I would do it!

     
  • Paul Barrett

    @justmogler

    Of course it makes sense for Govt and Councils to do this.
    LL are the proverbial low hanging fruit.
    Nobody apart from LL will give a jot if LL are hit with more taxes

    Property taxes are difficult to evade or avoid.

    It is only natural that LL properties will be hit because that is where the money is.

    Can't blame anyone for taking advantage of LL

    Of course it isn't right but Govt doesn't care.

    They are are attempting to get rid of small LL.

    They hardly care how this occurs no matter how unfair
    Which is precisely the reason that I intend to convert to a lodger business model.

    A business model that isn't available to many.

  • Paul Barrett

    @justmogler

    SRS

    Social Rented Sector

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