Local Elections and the Private Rented Sector
The local elections have seen the two main parties losing substantial numbers of councillors and control of a number of councils.
At the time of writing the Conservatives have lost control of 48 councils while Labour has lost 2. Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats have gained 10, Residents Associations 1, and Independents 3. Meanwhile the number of councils that have moved to No Overall Control has increased by 29.
There are a number of reasons for these results, unsurprisingly including dissatisfaction with the current Brexit situation. However, another key reason that seems to have led to a lot of victories, especially among independents is that the main parties are not seen as focusing on key local issues such as housing.
So what will this mean for the PRS? Well there are already a number of local authorities that have licensing schemes in place for the rental sector, whether that involves licensing more HMOs than the mandatory licensing scheme requires or selective licensing of all landlords.
However, it is true to say that Conservative controlled councils are less likely to favour substantial licensing schemes. However, Liberal Democrat councils certainly do and councils controlled by independents with a focus on local issues may see licensing as a means to deal with perceived housing issues.
Therefore, one of the effects of the local elections may be a further drive for more additional and selective licensing schemes. Additional schemes do not require permission from the Secretary of State but selective licensing schemes that affect more than 20% of the geographic area controlled by a council or more than 20% of all PRS properties do need consent. It is doubtful whether that permission will be forthcoming but that means there is substantial scope for greater HMO licensing and more selective licensing, at least on a local basis.
*Disclaimer: The information on the Anthony Gold website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. It is provided without any representations or warranties, express or implied.*