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Landlords across UK given more time to find out about licencing launches

selective licencing

Councils have been given three months longer to launch selective licencing schemes, new Government guidance has revealed.

An update to the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities' advice to local authorities considering or planning a selective licencing scheme has been updated to say that the 'introduction of [a] scheme may be delayed up to an additional three months [on top of the existing three-month limit], if need be, to prepare for the scheme's implementation'�.

The updated rules apply to schemes which cover less than 20% of a council's housing stock, and which therefore can be self-approved by councils.

'If a further delay is required for schemes approved by the Secretary of State [i.e. those over 20%] then this must be discussed with the department in the early stages of the application process and good cause must be provided,'� the guidance adds.

Extra time

It clarifies that the extra time is partly to ensure that people '� i.e. landlords or agents - who are likely to be affected by the designation have been consulted.

LandlordZONE understands the changes are to help councils deflect criticism that they don't give landlords enough time to find out about licencing launches. This follows complaints by many that they were unaware that selective licencing schemes were about to start, particularly if they lived outside an authority's borders.

One celebrated case of this was landlord group iHowz's criticisms of Ealing's implementation, with many landlords complaining about '�being kept in the dark' about the councils plans.

While agents have platforms like Kamma and London Property Licencing to help them keep abreast of local licencing requirements, private self-managing landlords are more exposed and, as our many stories about Property Tribunal decisions reveal, are often caught out.

DHLUC has been approached for comment.

Read the guidance.


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