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Plans to end selective licencing 'concerning' say environmental health chiefs

selective licencing

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has voiced concern about a new property portal threatening the future of selective licensing.

It fears the government will approve an amendment to the Renters Reform Bill tabled by 49 Conservative backbenchers that would remove councils’ ability to designate selective licensing areas.

The BBC reports that the government has now promised to announce a review of selective licensing “with the explicit aim of reducing burdens on landlords”. However, CIEH believes such schemes provide the only means for local authorities to proactively inspect privately rented housing, removing the need for tenants to have complained.

Louise Hosking (pictured) , executive director of environmental health at CIEH, says: “We are concerned by suggestions that the proposed property portal removes the need for selective licensing schemes. Licensing is a systematic and proactive approach to improving housing standards rather than just collection of information.”


She adds: “We believe that the government, far from watering down selective licensing, should be removing unnecessary barriers to local authorities using licensing schemes to improve housing standards.”

The NRLA has previously questioned the need for selective licensing schemes once the portal goes live, while Clive Betts MP, chair of the committee that scrutinises the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, has said the portal would probably mean that fewer requests to operate blanket licencing schemes would be submitted by local authorities.

This year is on track to break 2023’s record for the most additional and selective licensing schemes launched across the UK, according to geospatial tech company Kamma, which reports that 11 new schemes are set to launch by April while there are eight active consultations, suggesting that 2024 will surpass last year’s 32 new schemes.


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