Selective Licensing review and new HMO rules
A scheme that enables local authorities to introduce selective licensing of privately rented homes to address housing problems in their areas is to be reviewed by the government.
Areas were selected having been identified as having low housing demand linked to property condition and high levels of antisocial behaviour, crime and deprivation.
Under selective licensing, landlords are required to pay a fee and meet certain standards which affect the way a property is managed.
A number of areas of Greater Manchester fall under the scheme, including areas of Crumpsall, Moss Side, Rusholme, Moston and Old Moat.
The government has now announced it would be launching a consultation to look at how effective selective licensing schemes are at targeting rogue landlords, after pressure from industry professionals that legitimate private landlords are stumping up the cost of the licence while those operating illegally continue to do so.
It is currently up to landlords to find out if they operate within a selective licensing area and licence typically cost around £400.
Change in HMO rules
The government has also announced changes to the licensing of Housing of multiple occupancy (HMOs) from 1 October 2018.
The new regulations will mean that mandatory conditions and licences will apply to all HMOs that fall under the stated criteria (five or more people, comprising individuals living in two or more separate households, regardless of the number of storeys) and the landlords who own them.
Owners of these types of properties will be required to obtain licences when the new regulations take effect and landlords who don’t submit their applications by 1 October 2018 will be in breach of the law.
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How can ministers be expected to achieve goals for increased housing supply when they are only in office for an average of 16 months?