Agenda item - Private Rented Sector Discretionary Licensing Scheme: The evidence and next steps

skip navigation and tools

Agenda item

Private Rented Sector Discretionary Licensing Scheme: The evidence and next steps

Report of Executive Director, Economy, Environment & Culture (copy attached).

 

Decision:

(1)            That the findings of the Mayhew Harper Associates Ltd research that evidences the need for a citywide approach to discretionary licensing (Appendix 1) be noted.

 

(2)            That approval be given to 12 weeks of consultation (to commence once a revised fee structure has been agreed by Members) on the preferred option for private rented sector discretionary licensing across Brighton & Hove with persons who are likely to be affected by the designation (Sections 3.36-3.44, Section 6).

 

(i) Citywide Additional HMO Licensing covering all properties defined as HMOs under the Housing Act 2004 that are not covered by mandatory licensing

 

(ii)     Selective Licensing on all non-HMO private rented sector homes in the 12 worst affected wards (as currently delineated) where the evidence demonstrates a clear link between poor property conditions and anti-social behaviour with the private rented sector:

1       St. Peter's & North Laine

2       Regency

3       Moulsecoomb & Bevendean

4=     Hollingdean & Stanmer

4=     Queen's Park

6       Hanover & Elm Grove

7=     Brunswick & Adelaide

7=     East Brighton

9       South Portslade

10     Central Hove

11     Westbourne

12   Preston Park

 

(3)            That the findings of the consultation and appropriate recommendations be brought back to a future committee for Member consideration.

 

 

Minutes:

43.1    The Committee considered a report of the Executive Director Economy Environment & Culture which presented the findings of independent research commissioned to seek evidence that would support, or reject, the need to implement a further discretionary licensing scheme across the whole, or part(s) of the private rented sector in Brighton & Hove; reviews the existing Brighton & Hove HMO licensing schemes; alerts members to new government consultation on extending mandatory HMO licensing; and sought member approval to carry out formal consultation on the preferred option for extending licensing across Brighton & Hove.  The report was presented by Housing Strategy Manager.

 

43.2   The Housing Strategy Manager referred to paragraph 3.58 of the report which stated that the Government had recently launched consultation on reforms to HMO licensing, including extending the scope of mandatory HMO licensing.  If the reforms were agreed they would be introduced next year. Meanwhile officers would carry out the consultation targeting all those affected, including landlords, tenants, neighbours and people in adjoining areas.  

 

43.3    Councillor Bell referred to recommendation 2.2 (2) in relation to selective licensing. He would like to see the whole city included and asked if the scheme could be broadened. The Housing Strategy Manager explained that if selective licensing was covering more than 20% of the private rented stock it was necessary to specifically get permission for that scheme as the criteria was very strict.  Researchers had found that there was strong evidence in the wards highlighted but not so much in the other wards. If the consultation supported extending selective licensing, that was something that could be considered but the council would need to get permission and the evidence had to be strong.

 

43.4    Councillor Moonan asked how key people such as landlords and tenants in the private rented sector were being targeted in the consultation. The Housing Strategy Manager explained that officers had to consult with all those affected including tenants, landlords, neighbours, estate agents and adjoining areas.  The consultation would go out to a competitive exercise to procure experts in that field. 

 

43.5    Councillor Hill stated that the Licensing Scheme would make a big difference in the city. What had been achieved so far had driven up standards, and it needed to be recognised that there were still many issues relating to HMOs. That was a reason to continue HMO licensing and build on what had already been achieved so far, which had been focused on quality of the housing itself, and look more at some of the behavioural matters such as refuse and recycling and noise and maintenance.  It also required more departmental working and working with other organisations and community groups across the city. 

 

43.6    Councillor Hill stated that any landlord who was concerned about HMO Licensing should consider that although it was a big step from going from licensing HMOs to licensing every property, this was not as onerous as dealing with structural considerations. It was more light touch and this should be reflected in the fees. 

 

43.7    Councillor Gibson welcomed the report and appreciated the work carried out.  He asked if there were any statistics beyond 2011, and any idea of timescales. 

 

43.8    The Housing Strategy Manager confirmed that there was no list of private rented properties so it was not possible to give definite answers with regard to numbers of private rented properties.  However it was known that the numbers had increased particularly in areas such as Moulsecoomb and Bevendean.  There was a 46% growth in the private rented sector between 2001 and 2011.  It would be unlikely to be growing at that rate again due to rising house prices. The time scales for consultation were set out in paragraphs 3.55 and 3.56 of the report. Officers were planning to complete the consultation in the spring of 2017 with a report to the Committee in June 2017.

 

43.9    RESOLVED:-

 

(1)            That the findings of the Mayhew Harper Associates Ltd research that evidences the need for a citywide approach to discretionary licensing (Appendix 1) be noted.

 

(2)            That approval be given to 12 weeks of consultation (to commence once a revised fee structure has been agreed by Members) on the preferred option for private rented sector discretionary licensing across Brighton & Hove with persons who are likely to be affected by the designation (Sections 3.36-3.44, Section 6).

 

(i) Citywide Additional HMO Licensing covering all properties defined as HMOs under the Housing Act 2004 that are not covered by mandatory licensing

 

(ii)     Selective Licensing on all non-HMO private rented sector homes in the 12 worst affected wards (as currently delineated) where the evidence demonstrates a clear link between poor property conditions and anti-social behaviour with the private rented sector:

1       St. Peter's & North Laine

2       Regency

3       Moulsecoomb & Bevendean

4=     Hollingdean & Stanmer

4=     Queen's Park

6       Hanover & Elm Grove

7=     Brunswick & Adelaide

7=     East Brighton

9       South Portslade

10     Central Hove

11     Westbourne

12   Preston Park

 

(3)            That the findings of the consultation and appropriate recommendations be brought back to a future committee for Member consideration.

Supporting documents:

 


Bookmark this page using:

Find out more about social bookmarking

These sites allow you to store, tag and share links across the internet. You can share these links both with friends and people with similar interests. You can also access your links from any computer you happen to be using.

If you come across a page on our site that you find interesting and want to save for future reference or share it with other people, simply click on one of these links to add to your list.

All of these sites are free to use but do require you to register. Once you have registered you can begin bookmarking.

Brighton & Hove City Council | Hove Town Hall | Hove | BN3 3BQ | Tel: (01273) 290000 | Mail: info@brighton-hove.gov.uk | how to find us | comments & complaints