Have your say on Croydon's landlord licensing scheme
This consultation is now closed
You can read the consultation report using the link on the right
'A Better Place to Rent'
The Housing Act 2004 has given councils the power to introduce the licensing of privately rented properties to improve conditions for tenants and the local community.
Under the proposed licensing scheme, all private landlords with properties let in the borough will require a licence for each of their rented properties. The council will need to determine that the proposed licence holder is a 'fit and proper' person to manage their properties. Landlords renting a property without a licence face fines of up to £20,000, while those that fail to comply with licence conditions can be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000.
Why are we proposing to introduce the selective licensing scheme?
Croydon has approximately 30,000 privately rented properties. The scheme will help drive up the quality of private rented properties in the borough. It will also help ensure the crime and anti-social behaviour that is sometimes associated with poorly managed private rented housing is dealt with effectively. The Housing Act 2004 gives councils the power to designate the whole of, or part of the borough for selective licensing provided that the following sets of conditions are met:
- that the area is experiencing a significant and persistent problem caused by anti-social behaviour;
- that some or all of the private sector landlords who have let premises in the area (whether under leases or licences) are failing to take action to combat the problem that it would be appropriate for them to take; and
- that making a designation will, when combined with other measures taken in the area by the local housing authority, or by other persons together with the local housing authority, lead to a reduction in, or the elimination of the problem.
As detailed in the consultation document, the council considers that these conditions are met. Private renting has increased significantly in Croydon with one of the negative consequences being poor quality homes, noise, litter, fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.
Consultation on the options
Croydon Council is required to consult with anyone who may be affected by the scheme.
We have been consulting with landlords, managing agents and other associations since 1 September 2014, the results from this are available to download at the bottom of this page. We have also run a wider public survey for four weeks from 17 November to 12 December 2014.
Following a High Court ruling on Thursday 11 December 2014 regarding the extent of consultation the London Borough of Enfield carried out in relation to their selective landlord licensing proposals, we have decided to run a further 10 week consultation on our options.
This will allow those in our borough more time to provide feedback and give people in neighbouring boroughs a more targeted opportunity to have their say.
It is essential that those in neighbouring boroughs have the opportunity to get involved and have their say on selective landlord licensing in Croydon. This is because, if Croydon was to go with its preferred option and introduce a borough wide scheme, it may cause displacement of problems to Croydon's neighbouring boroughs. We want to hear people's views on this.
Our further consultation will run from Tuesday 23 December to Monday 2 March 2015 when we welcome all to give us their views on the following options, including the council's preferred option that the selected licensing scheme is introduced to the whole of the borough.
We are consulting on four options, (full details of the matters being considered are detailed in the consultation documents which can be downloaded below) but in summary the four options being considered are:
Option 1 - Implement a full scheme
This option would involve implementing a borough-wide selective licensing scheme. All private sector landlords would require a licence and have to meet the necessary criteria in order to hold a licence.
Option 2 - Implement a partial scheme
This option would involve introducing a scheme to certain wards chosen based on evidence and consultation responses. This is not the preferred option as there is concern this approach may cause displacement of problems. This concern is based on evidence from the introduction of HMO licensing which found that some poor landlords started to rent properties in wards not covered by a licensing scheme.
Option 3 - Implement the London Rental Standard
This option would encourage landlords to sign up to the Mayor of London's Rental Standard. Costs to landlords would be £125 to complete the necessary course, which would have to be repeated every five years. However it is felt that the measurable benefits for Croydon would be difficult to determine and as the standard is a pan-London initiative, it is unlikely to address the specific issues of the borough. There are no specific enforcement powers relating to landlords who fail to comply, as this is a voluntary scheme, and therefore this is not our preferred option.
Option 4 - Do nothing
This means we would not implement any form of the scheme and the existing structures in place would remain. For the reasons given in the consultation document (available to download below) regarding poor standards of accommodation for tenants, or where tenants cause persistent levels of anti-social behaviour (ASB). This is not the preferred option.
How can I get involved?
This survey is now closed
What happens next?
All responses from the consultation will be analysed to understand people's views on the options. A summary of responses will be included in a report to cabinet on 16 March 2015 where cabinet will make a decision regarding whether to implement a scheme in Croydon. The cabinet report will be available here Meetings and Agendas and Minutes of Cabinet Meetings a week before the cabinet meeting. To find out more about viewing council meetings visit our live webcast page