Report of Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing
The Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing introduced a proposal for a scheme of selective licensing for privately rented houses.
Data collection and analysis work has been completed, informing a decision on proposals for a selective licensing scheme for privately rented houses.
An addendum to the report highlighted an ongoing European Court case relating to fees – further work will be required with regard to its potential impact on the operational proposals for this scheme.
Officers involved with the report were thanked for their hard work.
(1) approve in principle to pursue a scheme of selective licensing as outlined in the report and to delegate authority to the Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing and the Portfolio Holder for Community Services, in consultation with the Corporate Director for Commercial and Operations and the Corporate Director for Development and Growth, to make any amendments to the scheme prior to consultation;
(2) approve the draft designation contained in Appendix 3 of the report for consultation in accordance with the statutory requirements and Department for Communities and Local Government guidance document Selective Licensing in the Private Rented Sector: A Guide for local authorities;
(3) bring back the results of the consultation to a future meeting of the Executive Board to consider and determine if the proposed scheme and designation should be made and submitted to the Secretary of State for Communities for confirmation;
(4) note the requirement to establish a ring fenced reserve for this scheme (detailed in approval 5);
(5) approve the use of reserves to fund setup costs of £0.080m should the scheme be approved (contained within paragraph 4.1 of the report).
Reasons for decisions
The designated area has been chosen because evidence, gathered in accordance with the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) guidance suggests that relevant statutory tests have been met and that selective licensing of privately rented houses in the area would be an appropriate tool to resolve problems. Ward Councillors have been consulted on the scheme and designation.
Other Options considered
The Council has operated a range of schemes and initiatives to improve property conditions and management of private rented sector properties for a number of years. These initiatives and work with other partners have ensured ongoing engagement with landlords. However problems still exist with a large number of landlords and properties which the Council believes can appropriately be addressed using selective licensing powers alongside existing initiatives and legislative provision. Details of these initiatives, work and considerations can be found in “Nottingham City Council: The Strategic case for Selective Licensing” – Appendix 2 of the report.
There could have been a decision to not pursue a selective licensing scheme; however the evidence that is presented within Appendix 2 of the report supports the view that the proposed scheme is needed. If the scheme is not implemented the City will continue to experience the significant problems in the private rented sector which have been identified.