Private Rented Housing: Licensing

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 14th February 2019.

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Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Labour, Stockton North

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, how many selective licensing schemes are in operation in England.

Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Labour, Stockton North

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, for what reason only a small number of selective licensing schemes are in operation.

Photo of Alex Cunningham Alex Cunningham Labour, Stockton North

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what steps he is taking to enable more local authorities to establish selective licensing schemes in areas where they are needed to tackle poor housing conditions.

Photo of Heather Wheeler Heather Wheeler Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

Selective licensing can be an effective, targeted tool to deliver improved standards and safety in the private rented sector for areas suffering from serious problems. Where selective licensing is poorly designed and not well targeted, it can come at a cost to landlords, which can be passed on to tenants through increased rents.

The Government only holds information on schemes that require the approval of the Secretary of State. Since 2015, schemes which cover more than 20 per cent of a local authority’s private rented stock or geographical area require approval. Eight schemes have been approved by the Secretary of State in the following local authority areas: Blackpool, Brent, Burnley, Hyndburn, Newham, Nottingham, Peterborough and Redbridge.

We are currently conducting an independent review into the effectiveness of selective licensing, through which we are engaging with local authorities about their experience of selective licensing. The final report is due to be published in Spring 2019.

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