Tories want Enfield Council to reveal how much has been spent on consulting on house in multiple occupation (HMO) licensing after a partly successful legal challenge from a landlord.
Enfield Council, North London, was criticised for not following a broad enough consultative procedure when seeking public views on a plan to introduce selective licensing in the borough.
A High Court judge slammed councillors for not holding a long enough consultation and not asking people outside of Enfield who may be affected by the ruling about their opinions of the scheme.
Now, Tory councillors is the Labour majority bough are asking how much the consultation and legal bill cost the council at a time when services are being cut because of reduced budgets.
Conservative housing spokesman Edward Smith said: ““The council’s proposed landlord licensing scheme has descended into a costly farce, with legal fees escalating and taxpayers having to foot the bill.”
The High Court ruled Enfield could not start a licensing scheme until a more extensive consultation is completed.
The council is taking the case to the Court of Appeal.
“We followed government guidelines and in some cases exceeded what they said during the consultation,” said a council spokesman. “We believe we followed the rules.”
Waltham Forest Council, East London, has warned a selective licensing scheme will proceed as planned from April 1.
Landlords must register with the council for a £500 a property five-year licence
Residents in Worcester are being urged to speak up about unruly students, antisocial tenants and landlords who fail to follow the law.
The council is asking residents to complete a questionnaire about their neighbourhoods so they can map trouble spots in the city.
The questionnaire asks a lot of questions about HMOs and how they are managed.
The consultation closes on January 30.
Landlords in Hastings, Sussex, are protesting about the £500 cost of an HMO licensing scheme in the town.
The council wants HMO landlords to pay £500 a shared house for a five-year licence – effectively a charge of £100 a year.
Landlords say the council want to bring in licensing to force them to police antisocial tenants when the council or police have powers to handle the problem.
“A recent court case held that a landlord is not responsible for the action of tenants,” said a landlord spokesman.
“A Recent Court Case Held, a Landlord is Not Responsible for the Action of Tenants” – http://t.co/6aCribewKJ
— LandlordZONE (@LandlordZONE) January 23, 2015