Agenda item

Selective Landlord Licensing - Consultation Responses and Approval to designate the Newport 2 area


At this point in the meeting the Mayor declared a pecuniary interest and withdrew from the meeting.


The Deputy Mayor assumed the Chair and proceeded with the meeting.


The Executive Member for Regeneration submitted a report for Executive’s consideration.


An Executive decision was made on 18th October 2022 to commence consultation on the designation of a Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme in Newport ward (known as Newport 2 area).  The report set out the rationale for commencing consultation and provided full details on how this consultation would be undertaken. 


The purpose of the report was to present and consider the outcome of the ten week consultation and to recommend that the area of Newport shown in Appendix A was designated for Selective Landlord Licensing.


The Housing Act 2004, gave local authorities powers to introduce Selective Landlord Licensing (over a five year period) for privately rented properties in areas experiencing low housing demand, significant and persistent anti-social behaviour or high levels of poor housing conditions, deprivation or crime. The purpose of such a scheme was to improve standards of property management in the private rented sector, and when combined with other measures, leading to improved physical, social and economic conditions.


Under the Housing Act 2004 Part 3 (Selective Licensing of other Residential Accommodation) all private landlords operating within the designated area were required to pay a fee and obtain a licence from the Council for each rented property. The conditions of the licence ensure that the property is managed effectively, and licence holders had to demonstrate their compliance. The fees were ring fenced to fund the staffing resources for the delivery of the scheme.




Do not designate and continue with the existing arrangements.


Carry on with the existing arrangement using the current resources available without a dedicated Selective Licensing team.  This would have meant utilising current staffing and regulatory roles and managing the area through the existing arrangements.  Without a dedicated SLL team there would have been no legal controls to hold landlords accountable for their tenant and property management, there would be no dedicated staffing resource for the area to carry out mandatory tenancy referencing, pro-active housing standards inspections, or to respond to the antisocial behaviour.  There would have been a continued imbalance in service delivery between the two halves of the ward.


Do not designate the area and carry out alternative interventions.


Alternatives to Selective Licensing were considered in other wards prior to the designation of the North Ormesby and Newport Selective Licensing areas. These included voluntary registration and the use of traditional enforcement tools. These would have required significant additional investment by the Council to have achieved any sustainable change across the area.


Alternative interventions would have still required a need to ensure that proactive assessment of properties and an increased focus on renting and management practices was sustained.  While Selective Landlord Licensing was not intended to be indefinite, a shift to an alternative non-regulatory approach or only relying on traditional reactive enforcement tools was not considered appropriate to sustain or progress the improvements achieved.


Traditional interventions did not provide the level of engagement with landlords necessary for the desired improvements. Landlord take up of previous accreditation schemes had been very low, they tended to only engage with responsible landlords who saw a value in being part of a scheme. An example of a non-mandatory scheme was the Stockton Pluss model which was run by landlords.  Stockton Council figures showed that they had 80 members for this scheme with 539 properties and not all landlords who opposed their SLL scheme joined the accredited scheme.


Short term proactive enforcement projects can have an impact but were not sustainable without significant investment from existing revenue budgets or grant funding.


In considering the responses received to the consultation it was maintained that the recommended action to designate the Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme in Newport 2 was the most appropriate course.  The area met the legal criteria for the designation of a Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme which was the most effective solution to improving management standards in the private rented sector.




That the Executive consider the results of the consultation and the statutory tests referred to in the report and appendices and approve the designation of Selective Landlord Licensing within the proposed area of Newport ward (Appendix A).




The SLL schemes in both North Ormesby and Newport 1 area had resulted in improvements in the living and environmental conditions for those living in the area and contributed to reductions in antisocial behaviour. The designation of the remaining area of the Newport ward for Selective Landlord Licensing scheme would continue to ensure that property standards were maintained, anti-social behaviour issues related to tenants were reduced and managed and that landlords were held accountable for the costs of both licensing and the property management improvements. The existing SLL designations were self-financing and, in line with the recommended changes to the scheme, the new designation would work in the same way.


The designation would require all privately rented properties within the identified boundaries, subject to statutory exemptions, to apply to be licensed for up to five years and comply with the licence conditions.


The proposed fee of £836 enabled the Council to ensure the scheme was self-financing, it was calculated on the staffing requirements for the administration and regulation of the selective landlord licensing scheme.


The boundary for the SLL scheme was to ensure complete coverage of the area in relation to improved housing standards, environmental conditions and reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour.

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