Plans to bring in a vast new selective licencing scheme within Brent have been given a resounding thumbs down from both landlords and, surprisingly, the London borough’s residents too.
Brent’s housing team has been operating a small selective scheme in Dollis Hill and Kensal Rise since 2018 but that is now due to end this month.
Councillors conducted an energetic 12-week public consultation that ended in January on two proposals to renew the existing scheme for another five years with landlords due to be charged £640 for a five-year licence.
But the proposals also include a second phase that would add a further 18 wards where there are ‘poor housing’ standards.
Unlike other consultations, where opinions on selective licencing are usually split starkly between landlords/agent and residents, this time opposition to an expanded, 21-ward scheme in Brent is more balanced.
Of all the 853 respondents to the consultation 46% opposed the larger scheme while 43% supported it (see results box above).
Among landlords, 75% opposed the larger scheme, while 25% of local residents and businesses also opposed it.
Comments from landlords and residents widely viewed the larger scheme as an addition financial burden on the PRS, some describing it as a ‘money grab’, ‘cash grabbing’ and a ‘cash collecting’ scheme, the council’s consultation results reveal.
One landlords said: “I paid the fee [for the original scheme] and have seen nothing from the council. No checks, no property inspection.”
Brent councillors must now vote on the proposals following the consultation at a Cabinet meeting due on Monday (17th April).
The 18 wards to be added to scheme Alperton, Barnhill, Brondesbury Park, Cricklewood & Mapesbury, Kenton, Kilburn, Kingsbury, Northwick Park, Preston, Queens Park, Queensbury, Roundwood, Stonebridge, Sudbury, Tokyngton, Welsh Harp, Wembley Central and Wembley Hill. Subscribe here for the latest landlord news and receive tips from industry experts: