Under the Housing Act 2004, we have the delegated powers to implement a selective licensing scheme, which aims to improve the management of privately rented properties and the health and wellbeing of private tenants.
From February to April 2017, we commissioned an independently managed consultation to put forward proposals for the introduction of a selective licensing scheme and to consider people’s feedback. Almost half (49%) of the 189 responses were submitted by private landlords and 12% of responses by private tenants.
- 89% of respondents agreed that landlords should be required to maintain properties to a high standard.
- 50% of respondents agreed that we should be taking action to improve the management of private rented accommodation.
The pilot area of Canalside (parts of Maybury and Woking town centre) was selected due to the number of private rented properties located within the ward and the amount of prosecution cases we have taken against private landlords in this area.
Following a decision by Full Council on 19 October 2017, private landlords or their managing agents renting properties in this area are required to have a licence for each privately rented property.
The selective licensing scheme came into force on 1 April 2018 and lasts for five years, ending 31 March 2023.
- Private landlords who do not have a licence are:
- committing a criminal offence
- liable to prosecution via the courts or a financial penalty of up to £30,000
- liable to a rent repayment order
- unable to evict tenants.