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Controversial licensing scheme said to have won government backing

The selective licensing scheme operated by Newham council in London is reported to have won government backing to be extended until 2023.

The website London Property Licensing says it understands the backing has been won from the Department for Communities and Local Government after a lengthy wait.

Newham has been regarded as the local authority with, historically, the strongest policing of its licensing policies; the council’s figures show that more than 1,215 landlords have been prosecuted and 28 of the worst offenders have been banned. A total of 25 letting agents have been subject to penalty charge notices or other legal action and more than £2.8m in council tax has been recovered. 

The council has also announced plans to rate all letting agents from zero to five stars (where five is the best), and then publish the list in full on the council’s website.

However, there has been substantial delay in securing government consent for the licensing scheme to be continued; however, LPL says this has now been given, although to date no formal confirmation has been issued by the DCLG or the council.

LPL suggests that the existing selective licensing scheme expires on December 31 and that, because of the delay in the government go-ahead, the new scheme will not start until March 2018. 

LPL also reports that to coincide with renewal of the selective licensing scheme, the council have decided to increase the application fee by 60 per cent to £800 per property. 

“This will become the highest selective licensing fee in London” the site claims.

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    As an agent working within the borough of Newham I am not against the licencing scheme as it has helped to raise the standards of property in the area however the scheme is very unfair by its nature and a 60% hike in fees is totaly unjustified, if a property owner of a one bed flat @ £1100 pcm who has to go overseas to work for a couple of years, they pay £800 for two years no refund ,landlord two has a 4 bedroom house £2000 pcm pays the same £800 , a fairer way would either be a changing scale per bedroom or a pro rata payment year on year, as the same fee would be payable in year 4 to a new landlord for a year as it would have been at the start of the scheme....

    Also professional sharers as well as student housholds not find it very difficult to rent in the borough as the council now restrict such housholds under current legislation quoting anti social behaviour as
    the reason, and by the way this was the reason given to me by one of Newhams licencing team as the reason the E20 postcode is exempt from the scheme, depriving Newham council of in excess of £2,000,000 worth of revenue council tax payers of Newham eat your hearts out .

    Not very fair at all NEWHAM COUNCIL

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