Benefits of Selective Licensing
The new designations for selective license area have been made on the basis of high levels of deprivation. This allows the Council and partners to focus attention on a wide range of issues including;
- the employment status of adults;
- the average income of households;
- the health of households;
- the availability and ease of access to education, training and other services for households;
- housing conditions;
- the physical environment; and
- levels of crime.
The designations offer the opportunity to drive a wide range of initiatives in the areas to the advantage of residents and stakeholders. Over a 5 year period our aim is to see a measurable improvement in the six designated areas. This will improve the lives of residents and improve the area as a whole.
In September 2019, an Independent Review of the Use and Effectiveness of Selective Licensing commissioned by the Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government, suggested that the key mechanisms by which licensing effects change are;
- It focuses resources on areas of concern whilst simultaneously generating revenue to contribute to the costs involved;
- It provides a clearly defined offence (licensed/unlicensed) which simplifies enforcement - and where a landlord is intentionally operating without a licence it is highly likely the inspection process will uncover further offences;
- There is no 24-hour notice requirement for access before an inspection for licensing purposes. This is particularly important where criminal (‘rogue’) landlords are present;
- The proactive inspection approach frequently brings other problems to light;
- Licensing provides a clear driver for effective engagement between landlords and local authorities and drives up landlord awareness of their responsibilities;
- pre-designation process focuses local authority minds on the development of clear, transparent and robust enforcement policies;
- Selective licensing encourages the development of effective intelligence gathering mechanisms – extremely valuable both in identifying unlicensed properties and in targeting priority properties, especially where the ideal inspection figure of 100% cannot be achieved;
- Promotion of joint working within the authority and other agencies - fire and rescue service, police, border control/immigration, social services, HMRC etc;
- Development of clear targets and metrics to measure progress and success.
And concludes that, selective licensing can be an effective policy tool with many schemes achieving demonstrable positive outcomes. However, when implemented in isolation, the effectiveness of selective licensing is often limited. Schemes appear to be more successful as part of a wider initiative.