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Government backs huge licensing scheme extension until 2025

The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has backed a five year extension for a massive London council landlord licensing scheme. 

Waltham Forest’s selective licensing regime, covering 18 out of 20 wards, gets the go-ahead to commence on May 1. 

The council claims that with over a third of its residents renting privately “and evidence that over 8,000 rented homes contain significant hazards”, licensing will enable the council to intervene effectively to help raise housing standards, reduce anti-social-behaviour, and allow the council to deal effectively with non-compliant landlords who exploit vulnerable tenants by letting out overcrowded, unsuitable, and dangerous properties.


A borough-wide selective licensing scheme was first launched in Waltham Forest in April 2015 and ends on March 31 this year. 

The new scheme will run for a period of five years and will end on April 30 2025.

Since selective licensing was first introduced in the borough over 27,000 property licences have been issued and the council claims to have:

- issued more than 149 Civil Penalties;

- issued more than 50 interim management orders;

- improved 3,100 privately rented properties; and

- pursued 94 successful prosecutions, resulting in more than £323,000 in court-imposed fines.

Additional licensing in the borough will launch on April 1 and will target HMOs that are privately rented but which do not come within the scope of mandatory HMO licensing and where households share one or more basic amenity such as a bath or WC.

Poll: Licensing - it's just a way of councils getting more revenue.


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    Scheme can’t have been that effective if there are still 8000 properties with serious defects after it’s been running 5 years.

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    You’d think it would be seen as an epic failure rather than a success. Repeating this is a tax on the good and compliant landlords while clearly seen as avoidable by the bad.
    There is plenty of legislation available to the councils to place improvement orders on the bad landlords and those proven to have been registered and compliant should be exempt from further license tax. Why should they pay again for council staff costs to run a failed project for a further 5 years?

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    • 28 January 2020 23:25 PM

    If licensing ISN'T about the income then let the licence fee be £50 or possibly £100 for a 5 year licence.
    Most good LL could suffer that.

    But of course us LL know it is ALL about the income from an electorally disenfranchised electorate.
    The remaining electorate doesn't care about private LL being hit with additional cost burdens because they are too thick to realise that the results will be LL selling up or increasing rents.
    Councils and Govts won't lose many votes in hitting LL in the pocket.
    Few LL would object to a NATIONAL LL LICENSING SCHEME to replace ALL other LL licensing schemes.
    Yes administered by Councils with Councils able to retain the Licensing fees.
    Licence fee to be for 5 years for no more than £100 per property.
    Of course none of this will occur.
    I suggest many LL will be leaving Waltham Forest who have been allowed another 5 years for their very expensive LL LICENSING scheme.
    Imperceptibly LL are being forced out of business or are increasing rents if they can.
    Just funding enforcement of existing legislation would be sufficient but Govt won't fund such enforcement.

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    • 29 January 2020 15:25 PM

    Licencing fees are simply another revenue stream for local authorities.

    They are not there to protect anyone.

    • 29 January 2020 21:53 PM

    Agreed but far better to have 2.5 million licensed LL at say £100 per property every 5 years.
    Any LL letting without a licence immediate RRO and prosecution.
    That should concentrate the rogue LL minds!!??
    Only way to stop rogue LL is prevent them doing business.
    No licence no let.
    Quite simple really.
    Any LL letting without a Licence will be a criminal.
    So RRO recovery under POCA
    No point in being a rogue LL if you risk all your money being taken from you.
    No portal of any sort should be allowed to have lettings advertised without a bona fide LL licence number


    But they can’t even police those agents not a member of a redress scheme. I have dutifully complied and watched others blatantly ignore the rules, despite me reporting them. These are far fewer in number than every single LL.


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