Extension to Selective Licensing Schemes - Public Consultation
- Meeting of Neighbourhoods and Environment Scrutiny Committee, Wednesday, 2nd September, 2020 2.00 pm (Item 35.)
Report of the Strategic Director, Neighbourhoods
One of the main themes of the refreshed Private Rented Sector Strategy is to improve property and management conditions in the private rented sector with a particular focus on the poorest quality properties. Selective licensing is a useful tool to apply targeted interventions in the most challenging areas of the City.
Officers are seeking approval to commence an extensive consultation exercise to establish whether the declaration of a selective licensing scheme is required within these identified areas.
The Committee is invited to comment on the report prior to its submission to the Executive on 9 September 2020.
The Committee considered a report of the Strategic Director (Neighbourhoods) that described that Officers were seeking approval to commence an extensive consultation exercise to establish whether the declaration of a selective licensing scheme was required within the 12 potential areas identified within the report.
The Committee had been invited to comment on this report prior to its submission to the Executive on the 9 September 2020.
The main points and themes within the report included: -
· Providing a context of the Private Rented Sector (PRS) in Manchester;
· The legal framework in the context of The Housing Act 2004, noting that Selective Licensing is intended to address the impact of poor quality property and management standards primarily in areas of low demand or high deprivation and with poor quality housing;
· Describing the measures required to introduce Selective Licensing in a designated area;
· Information on fees and conditions;
· Describing licensing considerations and objectives; and
· An update on the proposed Selective Licensing Consultation.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were: -
· Welcoming and supporting the proposed extension of the scheme;
· Noting the improvements realised in those areas where Selective Licensing had been introduced;
· Clarification was sought regarding the funding and staff resourcing to undertake property inspections of any agreed future schemes;
· Had consideration been given to increasing the Selective Licensing fee;
· Would temporary accommodation be subject to Selective Licensing; and
· Requesting that a list of all temporary accommodation by ward be circulated to all Members of the Committee.
The Head of Compliance, Enforcement and Community Safety informed the Committee that Selective Licensing schemes were self-funding via the license fee applied. She stated that the license fee had been set in accordance with agreed eligible charges. She stated that the extension of schemes and the corresponding revenue from fees would fund officer posts and the experience and knowledge obtained from the delivery of other schemes in the city had informed the planning for the delivery of the proposed schemes.
In regard to the comment regarding the numbers of inspections required, the Head of Compliance, Enforcement and Community Safety advised that in the initial stages of a designated licensing period priority was given to processing the applications and this was then followed by a programme of inspections, noting that the programme of planned inspections had been impacted by COVID-19. The Neighbourhood Manager stated that she would circulate a flow chart to all Members that described the licensing process.
The Neighbourhood Manager advised the Committee that the legislation governing Selective Licensing did not extend to temporary accommodation. She acknowledged the issues raised in relation to temporary accommodation and stated that officers would continue to work with partners and colleagues to resolve any issues identified.
The Committee note the report and endorse the recommendations that the Executive:
1. Approve a consultation with residents, private landlords, businesses and other stakeholders to designate selective licensing schemes within the geographical areas listed in paragraph 4.2 of this report; and
2. Subject to the outcome of the consultation, delegate authority to the Director of Neighbourhoods in consultation with the Executive Member for Housing and Regeneration and the Executive Member for Finance and Human Resources to approve up to 12 selective licensing areas identified in the report.
- Extension to Selective Licensing Schemes, item 35. PDF 313 KB
- Appendix 1 Proposed Licence Conditions, item 35. PDF 86 KB
- Appendix 2 Maps of proposed SL areas 2020, item 35. PDF 4 MB
- Appendix 3 Local Statisitcs, item 35. PDF 47 KB