We asked, you said, we did

We asked

We asked for your views on our proposal to introduce a second phase of selective licensing scheme for all privately rented properties that are not covered by licensing of houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), in a total of ten wards in Barnet.

You said

We received 369 online responses to the questionnaire and seven written responses via email.

  • overall, the majority (70%) of respondents opposed the introduction of the selective licensing scheme for privately rented properties in Barnet
  • opposition, however, was stronger amongst managing or letting agents and private landlords (100% and 94% opposing respectively) and support was stronger amongst owner occupiers and those renting from private landlords (63% and 43% support respectively)
  • the majority (45%) of respondents were private landlords, with 8% stating they were a managing or letting agent or work for a managing or letting agent. Only 20% of respondents said they rented their home from a private landlord. A further 14% of respondents were owner occupiers.

There were also several comments made by respondents completing the questionnaire and in written responses in relation to the proposals.

Those who opposed the proposed scheme gave reasons which included:

  • landlords would exit the market
  • the number of rental properties would reduce and so increase homelessness
  • rents would increase as the cost of the licence would be passed on to tenants
  • it is just a money-making exercise for the council
  • it penalises good landlords, whilst bad landlords will not get a licence
  • unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy
  • concern that the council would not be able to adequately resource the scheme
  • fees are too high.

Respondents who supported the scheme gave reasons including;

  • too many poor properties
  • poor conditions affecting tenants’ health
  • landlords need to be better regulated
  • to make landlords maintain their properties
  • landlords making short-term profit at the expense of tenants
  • to identify more rented properties
  • reduce crime and anti-social behaviour
  • to protect tenants .

A large number of people objecting to the proposals did not give reasons for their objection other than indicating their disagreement with licensing. Other comments related to issues that were already explained in the consultation documents. More information is available in the full consultation report.

We did

Comments objecting to the scheme were primarily from landlords. The extent of the objections from respondents has been carefully considered and it is deemed that the data and reasons established that led to the proposal in the consultation remain sound and, although there are strong representations from one category of respondent, these do not undermine the original intentions to introduce the scheme. Whilst the council acknowledge the specific responses received from the consultation, the evidence held by the council highlights the issues in the condition and management of private sector accommodation in the ten wards in the borough, and therefore a selective licensing scheme to address poor property conditions in those wards remains a justifiable approach.

Amendments have been made in response to comments received:

  • although not strictly an amendment to the proposals, we have clarified that the council intend to inspect the majority, if not all licenced properties during the life of the scheme
  • we have removed the proposed additional fee if the second element of the fee isn’t paid in a timely manner
  • we have undertaken that the operation of the fee structure in Phase one of selective licensing, due to be implemented in early 2024, will be carefully monitored and propose that alternative models of fees and discounts given by other authorities will be closely examined with the potential for an alternative fee structure, whilst still covering costs of the scheme
  • we took on board various comments relating to the licence conditions and have amended them accordingly, where we thought this was appropriate.

The final proposals were considered by the council’s Cabinet on 12 December 2023 and the amended proposals described above were agreed. The designation will not be made until the council is satisfied that there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate strong outcomes, efficient delivery, robust enforcement and adequate resourcing for the existing mandatory and additional licensing schemes and the proposed phase one selective licensing scheme. Once these safeguards are deemed to be met, which is anticipated to be early 2025 at the earliest, then the designation will be signed. After signing, the designation must be confirmed by the Secretary of State for The Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities before it can be implemented.

You can view the final report on the consultation and the summary of comments and the council’s response to them, as well as the final licensing designation (once signed) on the council’s website,

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This consultation has now closed.

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