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Government agrees not to scrap selective licencing when Portal goes live

cieh selective licencing property portal

Environmental health officers won a concession from the Government yesterday after it agreed not to stop councils using selective licencing schemes once England’s national Property Portal launches, most likely next year.

This portal will see all landlords and letting agents required to register themselves and the properties they own or manage on a national database and keep it updated or risk a substantial fine.

But the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) backed by the Local Government Association has been running a campaign to keep selective licencing and HMO licencing despite, as MP Anthony Mangnall said yesterday in parliament, operating both schemes will see landlords being ‘regulated twice’.

But housing minister Jacob Young accepted the CIEH’s argument that licensing provides a locally-specific ‘means for local authorities to inspect privately rented housing using enforceable conditions and to identify and resolve problems without the need for tenants to have complained’.

The CIEH says the Property Portal would collect valuable information but would not replace this service.


But Mangnall, and many landlords like him, think the portal overlaps with selective and HMO licencing too much and is part of a growing bureaucratisation of the private rented sector.

Nevertheless Louise Hosking, (pictured) Executive Director of the CIEH, says: “We strongly disagree with suggestions that the proposed Property Portal removes the need for selective licensing schemes.”

Many landlords dislike selective licencing in particular because it’s an ‘extra tax’ that punishes good landlords but often fails to stop rogue operators, with fees and enforcement levels varying significantly across England and Wales.

A recent report co-authored by industry figure Kate Faulkner OBE backed this point of view, highlighting how a landlord on one side of a council boundary can face fees of up to £1,000 for a five-year licence and tough rules to adhere to, while another landlord on the other side does not, despite both being on the same street.

The report’s other co-author, Paul Conway of Juno, also says: “Our data analysis shows a lack of such schemes in regions with a relatively higher proportion of non-decent homes, and a higher proportion of such schemes in regions with some of the lowest

proportions of non-decent homes.

“This begs the question as to the role of licensing in causing housing standards to improve.”


Selective licensing
Hmo licencing
Property portal