SOUTHWARK LANDLORDS FACE SELECTIVE LICENSING / CROYDON ACTS TO PROTECT OFFICE SPACE
SOUTHWARK LANDLORDS FACE SELECTIVE LICENSING
In a bid to tackle anti social behaviour and drive up standards in the borough’s private rental sector, Southwark council have launched a public consultation seeking local opinion on the subject.
A quarter of people in Southwark live in 28,500 privately rented homes. Southwark say they want to improve management and conditions in privately rented properties by:
Introducing a scheme which requires some landlords to license their property. “We propose to do this in particular areas first where there is more antisocial behaviour. “This is called selective licensing.
“Make all houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) have a licence no matter how small they are. “This is called additional licensing.”
In addition the council is consulting on the HMO standards which are applied in the borough.
Under the new scheme, landlords will be required to obtain a license for letting out a property in Southwark.
“The council hopes to bring about a culture within privately rented sector which improves the standards of properties let, improves the management of those properties and reduces the steady rise in anti-social behaviour often linked to poorly managed properties” said a statement..
“With 25 per cent of Southwark’s population residing in 28,000 privately managed properties and the Greater London Authority (GLA) predicting demand to rise to nearly 44,000 by 2025, improving the sector is particular pertinent for the council.”
Cllr Richard Livingstone, cabinet member for housing, said: “We are determined to raise standards in the borough’s private rental sector but we cannot do this without hearing the views of local people.
“No matter your experience, you can help us shape the future of Southwark’s growing private rental sector.
“Underpinning our proposals for a new license is serious issue of poorly managed properties which pave the way for anti-social behaviour and sub-standard living conditions. “As a council we believe that all residents, no matter their housing tenure, deserves a warm, dry and safe home.
“Both selective licensing and additional licensing gives us the opportunity to drive up standards and bring unscrupulous landlords to account.”
You can have your say via the consultation online. Go to: Southwark.gov Housing – Private landlords licensing consultation
The results of the consultation will be used to shape the council’s plans to introduce discretionary licensing in some of the borough’s privately managed properties. (Source: Southwark council press release)
CROYDON ACTS TO PROTECT OFFICE SPACE
Planning powers could be used by Croydon council to prevent offices being converted into residential accommodation in the town centre.
The council say they are proposing to introduce the measure to protect much-needed office space being lost to substandard housing.
“In May last year, the government brought in permitted development rights which allowed offices to be converted into housing without planning permission” said a council statement.
“There was also no requirement to supply affordable housing or to meet the Mayor of London’s space standards.
“At the time the council, along with other local authorities, unsuccessfully applied for an exemption due to fears over the effect this could have on office space and the quality of residential accommodation.
“With these fears now being realised, the council has informed the Secretary of State Eric Pickles that from 10 September 2015 it intends to bring in powers known as Article 4 that revoke the permitted development right.
“A report going to cabinet on Monday, 20 October, reveals that since permitted development rights were introduced, 1,074 out of 1,236 units in Croydon approved under the right were substandard residential accommodation.
“The report clarifies the council’s planning policy to protect office space in the central Croydon area, in particular around East Croydon station.
“As set out in the recently announced Croydon Growth Plan, it is the council’s ambition to reinstate Croydon as a premier office location, and provide 1 million sq ft of high quality office space.”
Cllr Alison Butler, cabinet member for homes and regeneration, said: “We want to give certainty to investors and developers about our support for office developments.
“While we are committed to providing new homes for Croydon residents, this is not at any cost. “We are determined that all our homes, from whatever sector, should be decent and fit for purpose.
“In addition, the loss of office space is also resulting in a loss of jobs and opportunities for local people.” (Source: Croydon council press release)