Landlords around the UK can expect to see a significant increase in the number of councils launching new licensing schemes over the next 12 months once the pandemic lockdown has eased.
A new local authority licensing scheme is set to be launched every eight days in the next 12 months one the Coronavirus crisis is over, LandlordZONE can reveal.
The surprising statistic is part of new data which shows how quickly schemes are springing up around the UK; in the last 12 months, 20 schemes were launched – one every 18 days – but they’re rapidly accelerating, with about 47 schemes expected to launch in the next year, according to consultancy Kamma.
Its data shows there are more than 100 discretionary schemes across the UK in more than 70 councils, with a greater number of selective schemes implemented.
Meanwhile, the National Residential Landlords Association submitted freedom of information requests to councils in England between November 2019 and February 2020, and received more than 200 responses, with 53 councils confirming they’re operating additional or selective schemes, or are in the process of launching one. It found that London has the most schemes, with 20 boroughs insisting landlords buy a licence.
“We’re definitely seeing a trend amongst councils towards implementing a greater number of licensing schemes,” Kamma CEO Orla Shields tells LandlordZONE.
“London is certainly becoming a hot-spot for licensing schemes, and there are a number of consultations that have taken place or are currently underway in the capital.
“But we’re also seeing a big increase in other councils around the UK introducing schemes, particularly in more urban areas.”
The Government’s review into selective licensing last year concluded schemes were effective ‘when implemented properly’. However, some councils such as Coventry have been criticised recently for going ahead with new schemes during the lockdown.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s Coronavirus guidance is that where they’re in the process of introducing non-mandatory licensing schemes, councils should consider pausing them at an appropriate point, “in line with the advice on proactive and reactive work”.