Councils seeking to introduce licensing schemes despite similar schemes running into legal difficulties

Evidence is growing that more councils are seeking to introduce licensing schemes for private sector landlords despite the proponents of similar schemes running into legal difficulties.

Oldham MBC last week launched a consultation into a possible scheme while Waltham Forest LBC also confirmed  it intends to pursue plans that had stalled due to the local elections, and at least two other London boroughs and Liverpool City Council have launched consultations into schemes.

Under the Housing Act 2004 councils must prove either that there are problems with antisocial behaviour in the private rented sector locally or widespread neglect of property to set up such a scheme.

Boston BC last month dropped its scheme after hearing it was likely to be subject to a judicial review by the Southern Landlords Association which believes the area’s housing did not meet the criteria. Milton Keynes Council ditched its plans in March due to a lack of evidence the required conditions would be met.

Chris Town, vice chair of the Residential Landlords Association, said the fact landlords had to pay a five-year, non-transferable fee per property upfront hit them hard. “It can mean people don’t want to buy into that area, and it doesn’t necessarily have a positive impact,” he said.

Read the full story at: http://www.lgcplus.com/news/landlord-licensing-plans-pursued-despite-legal-fights/5071568.article?blocktitle=Latest-Local-Government-News&contentID=2249

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