Overview

Croydon does not currently have a selective licensing scheme designation. The recent scheme closed on 30 September 2020.

LICENSING NEWS:  The council applied to government for a further full borough selective licensing scheme on 20 July 2020. On the 8 June 2021 the Council heard from the Government that the proposed scheme had been refused.  There is no current requirement for landlords to license private rented properties (other than mandatory houses in multiple occupation). The council is now considering the government’s response before deciding on any next steps in the months ahead. These webpages will be updated shortly to reflect the council’s decision.

Background

In 2015 we introduced a borough-wide, 5-year landlord licensing scheme which ended on 30 September 2020. Following a paper to cabinet in October we went out to a 12-week consultation on proposals to continue to license private rented properties in Croydon, from 16 December 2019 to 9 March 2020. The new licensing scheme was being considered in relation to tackling property condition, deprivation and anti-social behaviour in Croydon’s private rented properties. 

The consultation

Croydon Council commissioned Opinion Research Services to facilitate the consultation. To ensure a broad engagement a number of different approaches were employed such as; the residents’ survey (interviewer-led face to face survey), an online/ paper consultation questionnaire, small round table focus groups (small meetings with invited attendees), a number of landlords and letting agent forums and a stakeholder group.

Proposals for a new landlord licensing scheme in Croydon

A new licensing scheme was considered in relation to property condition, deprivation and anti-social behaviour. As well as asking for general opinion, the consultation put a number of questions forward to seek views with Borough problems, the effectiveness of the current licensing scheme and whether the council should continue with a further scheme.

The questionnaire moved onto the proposals for the new scheme and whether, where a new scheme was to be proposed, the preference was for the full borough, part borough OR some alternative. The consultation documentation provided information on the proposed fees and charges structure. Questions were put that sought views on the proposed standard fee and reduced fees for ‘new’ or multi-let property applications. The consultation proposed a one-year licence for landlords, where further support is needed, and a one-year fee in this situation. The proposed property licensing conditions were included for comment and feedback.

Documents relating to the consultation

ORS have produced a number of documents relating to the consultation including:

Proposals for a new licensing scheme (borough-wide and part-borough)

If you did not get a chance to see the options and evidence base then the information is still available. The consultation indicated that the preferred option would be to continue our current approach and introduce a new selective licensing scheme to cover the whole of the borough, as most of Croydon has a higher proportion of private rented properties than the national average. In wards where the level of private renting is slightly lower than the national average, there is still evidence of anti-social behaviour linked to privately rented properties.

A further option included a more limited scheme, covering around 97% of Croydon’s private rented sector. This partially excluded some wards where the number of privately rented properties is lower than the national average. The scheme would include the 22 Croydon wards with high numbers of private rented properties, plus 16 small, specific pockets of high private renting areas in the remaining 6 wards. This scheme was not the preferred option because of concern this approach may cause displacement of problems in the private rented sector to areas not covered by a licensing scheme.

Find out what evidence based research was taken and what schemas were proposed in the consultation document.

Proposal for a new licensing scheme for Croydon

The consultation responses were considered by the council and we have collated many of the specific responses in a document called – Council response to consultation responses. The consultation report detailed a number of other courses of action or alternatives to selective licensing that were raised during the consultation.

The council had considered these but it has come to a decision that it did not feel that, individually or collectively, they provided an effective, or as effective a means of tackling ASB and poor housing conditions in the borough, or of delivering the scale of improvement required in the Private Rented Sector (PRS). The consultation responses have led to some proposed changes to the operation of the proposed scheme.

To move forward with the proposed scheme a paper went to Cabinet on Monday 11 May 2020. The report sought approval from Cabinet to introduce a new scheme in the borough. The proposal was for a full borough scheme with the start date being 1 February 2021. As the new scheme covers more than 20% of the borough/ 20% of the private rented properties in the borough, if approved by Cabinet, an application will subsequently need to go to the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

We realise that some of the views expressed did not support a new scheme. The proposal to Cabinet has considered all views and the need to continue to make improvements to the boroughs private rented sector.

We realise that some of the views expressed did not support a new scheme. The proposal to Cabinet has considered all views and the need to continue to make improvements to the boroughs private rented sector.

Cabinet approval – 11 May 2020

To seek approval for the proposed scheme a report went to Cabinet on Monday 11 May. The report sought approval from the members to introduce a new scheme in the borough. The proposal was for a full borough scheme with the proposed start date being 1 February 2021.  The proposed scheme was approved by Cabinet.  The scheme has two designations that together cover the full Borough. 

The two designations are here (subject to approval by national authority):

1.      Designation area A

2.      Designation area B

As the new schemes covers more than 20% of the borough/ 20% of the private rented properties in the borough, an application was made to Government to seek approval from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.  The application was made on the 20 July 2020.  We realise that some of the views expressed did not support a new scheme. The proposal to Cabinet has considered all views and the need to continue to make improvements to the borough’s private rented sector.

We realise that some of the views expressed did not support a new scheme. The proposal to Cabinet has considered all views and the need to continue to make improvements to the borough’s private rented sector.

Current position

The application that was made on the 20 July 2020 is being assessed by the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government. If the council is successful with the application then a start date for the new scheme can be agreed. Under legislation the we need to advertise any new designation for a period of at least 3 months before it can commence.

Contact the Selective Licensing and Housing Enforcement Team

We will keep you updated using the landlord newsletter, webpages (Better Place to Rent) and local media.

Email: CPRPLconsultation@croydon.gov.uk