The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has contacted Camden Council, warning them against a borough-wide additional licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).
RLA Warns Camden Council Against HMO Licensing
The Council’s cabinet assigned the lead member for housing, just one councillor, the responsibility of determining the scheme. Patricia Callaghan has the final say on whether thousands of homes will need a license in order to be legally let.
The consultation was extended until 5th May, after Enfield Council’s decision to require councils to consult those affected in neighbouring authorities. Callaghan is expected to make her decision this week.
The RLA warns that Camden could be wasting money on a licensing scheme that could become invalid in a few months’ time due to the Government’s committal to consulting.
John Stewart, the RLA’s Policy Manager, says: “The Government has indicated its intention to extend the scope of mandatory licensing. It may be that any scheme introduced by Camden now will quickly be superseded by the Government’s new mandatory regime. Surely it would be better to delay a decision until the Government’s intentions are clearer?
“Licensing is expensive to establish and rarely achieves its stated objectives of raising standards and reducing anti-social behaviour. Good landlords will apply for licenses, often passing on the cost to tenants as increased rent, while criminal landlords continue to operate outside the system, unchecked.
“Effective enforcement is essential if the worst conditions in the PRS [private rental sector] are to be tackled. With diminishing resources, councils are cutting back on enforcement, meaning the criminals are rarely challenged.”1