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Council defends licensing go-ahead in the midst of a pandemic

There is growing momentum for local councils to freeze their plans for landlord licensing while the pandemic continues.

Lettings agency trade body ARLA Propertymark and rental sector accreditation group Safeagent have both called for a pause, while the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has also urged councils to be cautious with licensing proposals.

However several councils have continued, including the London authority Havering.


It has asked the London Property Licensing service to share with landlords and letting agents the justification it is promoting for continuing with its scheme.

The LPL website says: “In recognition of the challenges posed by the pandemic, a council spokesperson told London Property Licensing they were trying to adopt an equitable approach. In particular:

“The council will delay proactive enforcement operations until the end of March 2021. The timescale may be further reviewed if London is still in lockdown. When enforcement action resumes, the council will concentrate on properties where tenants have complained about poor housing conditions;

“Licence applications submitted with missing paperwork will be accepted and processed. The council appreciate there are difficulties gaining access and are mindful of the public health concerns associated with visiting properties at this time.”

New additional and selective landlord licensing schemes came into force in Havering on Monday of this week. 

That means that in addition to the mandatory HMO licensing scheme that applies across England, Havering has two additional licensing schemes and one selective licensing scheme.

The council is extending a small discount of £35 per property for accredited landlords; otherwise Havering’s fee for selective and additional licensing - £900 per property - is the joint highest selective licensing fee in London according to LPL.

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    £900 per property, another fee to be passed on to the tenant.

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    • 27 January 2021 08:40 AM

    For sure it will be passed on, plus of course an administration fee on top. And I will ensure that through any way possible, I will get that money back.

    Why should I work harder to fund their useless swindles? And why do I have to pay around 4% annually on my properties?

    I have already paid my tax to local authorities, so they can take the responsibility for pouring this fee on to all tenants.

  • George Dawes

    Nothing must stop the council bleeding it's citizens dry.

    I'd like to know what exactly is the point of a council apart from wasting tax payers money and employing morons ?

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    • 27 January 2021 09:35 AM

    Perfectly correct.

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    As we all know very well most council employees are basically unemployable, except in our public sector, incompetent, ignorant, arrogant and extremely badly supervised.
    They have been infected by the govt. disease of plundering landlords.


    Don't understand your first sentence, Sitta - all council employees are public sector, aren't they? Beware of stereotyping - many readers of Landlord Today may actually be council employees, and landlords too. "As we all know very well?' - where did you get this from? I personally didn't know that. And I still don't know that. Like every other profession, there are good and bad, I would have thought. Not sure if 'infected' and 'disease' are appropriate words to use just when the pandemic death figure hit 100,000 yesterday - bit insensitive, really.

    • 27 January 2021 11:39 AM

    Well said Sitta - We need to demand competence for Councils, which is an extremely rare commodity in Council Offices.

    Thick all of them and are often crooks.

    • 27 January 2021 12:34 PM

    Sitta: More than unemployable. Downright incompetent.


    David W. Perhaps if you read posts more carefully before replying you might gain the same understanding that others seem to gain? The whole point was that Councils are Public Sector and attract those who would never succeed outside of it!

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    • 27 January 2021 10:26 AM



  • George Dawes

    Here he ( dw ) goes again



    Looks like some people are trying to force off this site those whose views they do not share. Not far short of bullying. If everyone expresses the same opinion and is not prepared to listen respectfully to differing views, consider them, and then respond to those views in a grown-up manner, then there's actually really no point to these postings. No-one learns anything. Just an echo-chamber of identical views. People become even more entrenched in their views. A playground graffiti wall. Whatever happened to a decent polite exchange of views? End of lecture.


    David W.

    To be respectful requires more careful reading of posts before replying.

    Pot and kettle?

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    • 27 January 2021 11:53 AM

    Except that many, many tenants are feckless, cheating, filthy, incompetent, thick, stupid, thieving crooks. And who steal LL money, and have no personal respect.

    Go on then.....Smack me!!! But we all know is true, and many are afraid to tell the truth.

  • George Dawes

    SMH @ DW

    • 27 January 2021 12:09 PM

    Who exactly are you talking about?

  • George Dawes


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    • 27 January 2021 12:33 PM

    Poor you........

  • George Dawes

    I agree with Dave , crisp not wirth .

    It’s always the landlord that’s at fault in the media while in my experience it’s the tenant , particularly the under 30 airhead generation

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    I would like a council bod explain in plain english, why they charge a Professional LL 100% council tax on a completely trashed property by lady HB tenant, who the council pleaded not to evict. Now costing over £5k to put back into a habitable accommodation before it can be rented out again Yet charge a single person 75% of the council tax?


    Totally agree. Their policy discourages decent landlords from upgrading properties between tenants, harming decent tenants who would look after properties and letting rogues and vandals off Scot free.

  • Philip Savva

    Why don’t they cut the bullshit, we all know this is just another money making scheme for the councils, £900? For what, I have a property in Birmingham, which I paid for a HMO licence back in October 2018 & I have yet to receive my license, I have had to chase the council for it & I’m still waiting, so they cannot even mange the administration of licensing, so like say cut the bs, this is just another stealth tax on landlords & all that’s going to happen is that rents will keep rising, the money to pay the fee has to be found from somewhere & in turn this will fuel homelessness, well done !!


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