Selective licensing in Barking and Dagenham

Many councils in the UK use selective licensing to drive up standards and ensure landlords let their properties legally. To introduce a new licence though the local authority must get permission. The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) can also step in to block a move. As one of the top teams for estate management Barking and Dagenham have, we support numerous landlords. As a result we understand the potential drawbacks of having to get a licence.

What do Barking and Dagenham Council want to do?

The selective licensing would cover a number of areas in the Borough. The full list is;

  • Abbey
  • Alibon
  • Becontree
  • Chadwell Heath
  • Eastbrook
  • Eastbury
  • Gascoigne
  • Goresbrook
  • Heath
  • Longbridge
  • Mayesbrook
  • Parsloes
  • River
  • Thames
  • Valence
  • Village
  • Whalebone

Some of these locations have lots of people living in private rental accommodation. This causes concerns for the local council because it is tough to police.

The plan is to introduce a selective licence to increase quality and also ensure properties meet the right standards. It would cost each landlord £900 per property.

The RLA response

Consultation on the plan is still ongoing and will continue until the 15th of December. The RLA has already issued their response though. They have a number of issues with the plan as it currently stands.

Firstly there are big concerns about the high price for the licence. Although the council is proposing discounts, there is a big fear that the high cost could deter some lawful landlords. This may actually reduce the housing stock in the area. The additional cost could also result in an increase in rent, putting more pressure on tenants.

Secondly there is a fear that the move might have an impact on non-licensing areas in the Borough. For example many landlords will not want to risk a breach that could prevent them from letting properties elsewhere. As a result they may evict challenging tenants and put more pressure on council housing.

Instead of selective licensing the RLA recommends that Barking and Dagenham Council use the powers they already have at their disposal. With these, including banning orders and civil penalties, they can punish rogue landlords. This would put less pressure on lawful landlords.

Finefair is the most reliable name for estate management Barking and Dagenham has. We can provide great services as well as ensuring our clients meet their obligations. If a licence does come in we can support every landlord. To find out more about our services, contact us today.