The number of selective and HMO additional licensing schemes launched this year has already equalled last year’s total as councils come under pressure to tackle private rental housing standards.
Thirty-two schemes have been launched so far – matching 2022 – according to geospatial technology company Kamma, which predicts that we could see another 10 before the end of the year, or 31% higher than 2022.
While the number of schemes launched in 2020 (20) and 2021 (19) fell as councils diverted resources towards dealing with the Covid pandemic and ensuing lockdowns, this created a backlog in 2022 when councils rushed to green light plans.
However, Kamma’s COO Chris Morgan (pictured) says it doesn’t believe a backlog is still the reason for a growth in scheme activity.
"The state of the economy, the cost-of-living crisis, and the changing demographics of the PRS towards older more affluent renters has put pressure on government to tackle, or at least be seen to be tackling, rental housing standards,” he tells LandlordZONE.
“There is a fundamental attitude shift that we expect to carry forward this higher level of new schemes being launched each year. It really is total finger in the air trying to predict council behaviour, but if I had to pick a range, I’d probably say between six and ten more schemes this year,” adds Morgan.
Although prevalent in London, schemes are launching all over the UK. In the last few months, Manchester has rolled out five new selective licensing schemes, Birmingham introduced selective licensing in 25 of its wards, and Southwark became one of the UK’s largest schemes, launching in 19 of its 23 wards.
Meanwhile, Medway and West Northamptonshire are considering similar schemes.