Report of Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage
The Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage introduced the Proposal for a Scheme of Selective Licensing for Privately Rented Houses, informing the Executive Board of the results of the consultation that has been completed.
Following the consultation, it was proposed that a reduced area be subject to selective licensing. In addition, the Portfolio Holder informed those present of the following:
· There would be a differential between the price for a licence for those landlords that gain accreditation and those that don’t;
· The consultation received a large number of responses, mainly from landlords but also from residents. The outcome showed that residents were broadly in favour of the scheme, whereas landlords were broadly against it. Suggestions arising from the consultation were to change the borders of the scheme, and to look at the accreditation element;
· A number of arrangements are in place for social housing already. This selective licensing scheme would enable a degree of control over privately rented properties.
(1) approve the Designation contained in Appendix 1 of the report as being subject to selective licensing and confirm that Board is satisfied:-
· that the statutory grounds for making a designation outlined in paragraph 2.6 of this report and all other statutory requirements have been met;
· that it has considered the other courses of action available to it that might provide an effective method of achieving the objective(s) that the designation would be intended to achieve, and;
· that it considers that making the designation will significantly assist it to achieve that/those objective(s);
(2) approve in principle the revised operational detail of the scheme of selective licensing outlined in the report;
(3) agree that a submission be made to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government requesting confirmation of the Designation;
(4) delegate to the Portfolio Holder for Planning, Housing and Heritage the power:-
· to finalise and approve the submission documentation and operational scheme to be submitted to the Secretary of State for confirmation, and
· to liaise with Officers and the Department for Communities and Local Government in relation to the Confirmation of the Scheme and make any subsequent determinations that may be necessary in relation to it arising from that process;
(5) note the requirement to establish a ring fenced reserve, as detailed in paragraph 4.4 of the report, for this scheme;
(6) approve spend of £0.139m for set up costs and note in paragraph 4.1of the report how this will be funded;
(7) approve the financial application of the set up costs if the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) do not approve the scheme;
(8) note the use of the Council’s Firmstep system as the on line portal for the operational delivery of the scheme.
Reasons for decisions
Having given full consideration to the consultation responses there is still
believed to be a case for selective licensing in Nottingham. It is however no
longer recommended that a Citywide scheme is pursued, but that the focus of
the scheme should be on those areas which contain a high proportion of
Private Rented Sector (PRS) properties. This is felt to be more proportionate
to the problems being experienced in Nottingham and will provide a targeted
response which can be reviewed and assessed. The reasons for proposed
reduction in the size of the designation are outlined more fully in section 2
of the report.
Because the proposed designation still exceeds both 20% of the City’s private
rented sector, and 20% of its geographical area, it will still be necessary to
apply to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government for
confirmation of the scheme.
Other options considered
To not pursue the scheme any further: rejected because the evidence presented to Executive Board in November 2016 shows a clear need for the scheme. The alternative ways of dealing with the problems identified were set out in the November 2016 Board report. It was shown that although a number of initiatives, combined with the use of statutory powers had been successful, problems persisted and there was no alternative than to implement a scheme of selective licensing in order to tackle them.