Consultation on new property licensing scheme proposals in Barnet

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Consultation has concluded

Have your say on improving Barnet’s private rented housing by introducing new property licensing schemes in the borough

The council is consulting on new property licensing proposals for the private rented sector in the borough. Property licensing is a way we can ensure safer and better conditions in private rented properties that will enable all our residents to live in a healthy, safe, and thriving borough.


What we are proposing

In early 2022 we are proposing to re-introduce an additional licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) across the whole of Barnet and also introduce selective licensing schemes for

Have your say on improving Barnet’s private rented housing by introducing new property licensing schemes in the borough

The council is consulting on new property licensing proposals for the private rented sector in the borough. Property licensing is a way we can ensure safer and better conditions in private rented properties that will enable all our residents to live in a healthy, safe, and thriving borough.


What we are proposing

In early 2022 we are proposing to re-introduce an additional licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) across the whole of Barnet and also introduce selective licensing schemes for other private rented properties in certain parts of the borough.

The selective licensing schemes we are planning to introduce are in the following new wards*:

  • Burnt Oak, Colindale North and Colindale South
  • West Hendon, Cricklewood and Childs Hill
  • Golders Green, Hendon and Edgware.

* New ward boundaries and names come into effect in May 2022, further details can be found in our FAQs document.

As part of our proposals landlords will also need to obtain a license for a HMO falling within the additional licensing scheme or for other privately rented properties falling within the selective licensing schemes. A fee for the license will be charged to cover the costs of processing the application and the cost of monitoring compliance with license conditions.

The schemes will help the council work together with landlords to make sure that homes are safe and well managed.


Your views are important to us

We want to hear your views on our proposals, in particular we want to hear from residents, tenants, landlords, managing or letting agents, organisations, businesses and all other interested parties. To find out more please read our summary consultation document and FAQs. Further information, including detailed evidence on how we have developed our proposals, is provided in the Full Consultation Business Case Report.


How to have your say

Complete our online questionnaire

We are keen to hear your views on our proposals and encourage you to have your say by completing our online questionnaire.

If you would like to request a paper questionnaire or another format please:

  • email hmos@barnet.gov.uk or telephone 020 8359 5355.
  • alternatively you can write to us at HMO Licensing Team, Regulatory Services, London Borough of Barnet, 2 Bristol Avenue, Colindale, NW9 4EW.

If you would like someone to help you complete the questionnaire or need more information, please contact us using one of the above methods.

Attend a consultation meeting or group discussion

We are also running a series of open consultation events with tenants, residents and landlords, and in-depth group discussions with residents from different community groups.

  • Consultation event for residents and tenants – Wednesday 6 October at 7pm
  • Consultation event for landlords - Thursday 7 & 21 October at 7pm.

Registration for these events has now closed.


What happens after the consultation closes?

The council will use the consultation findings to inform our final decision. We will publish the results of the consultation, our decision and how we are acting on the results of the consultation on this web page in January 2022.

Consultation has concluded
  • We asked, you said, we did

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    We asked

    We asked for your views on our consultation on proposed private rented property licensing schemes. Options considered were re-introducing a borough-wide additional licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and three separate selective licensing schemes for other privately rented properties in a total of nine wards.


    You said

    We received 466 online responses to the questionnaire and nine written responses via email. We also held three events for those interested in participating, with tenants, homeowners, landlords and managing agents, with 29 people attending. In summary:

    • overall 53% supported the re-introduction of additional licensing
    • overall 40% supported the selective licensing schemes
    • for both types of scheme respondents renting their home and owner occupiers were more inclined to support the proposals than landlords and letting agents.

    There were also several comments made by respondents completing the questionnaire, in written responses and at the consultation events in relation to the proposals:

    • one comment suggested the additional licensing scheme should only be for a smaller area of the borough, in 4 wards with the most HMOs
    • one comment suggested that a smaller selective licensing scheme should be implemented, rather than three schemes
    • one comment suggested that the inclusion of areas that have recently been regenerated in the Colindale area was not warranted
    • one comment was received that for what are known as section 257 HMOs, the scheme should only apply to buildings where all the flats are rented
    • various comments were made about the detail of the licence conditions to be applied to the schemes
    • comments, mainly from landlords were made that the schemes are not necessary
    • some consultees thought the schemes were a money-making exercise
    • some consultees thought that the schemes would penalise responsible landlords
    • some comments were made that the costs would be passed onto tenants
    • one respondent thought references should not be required from prospective tenants
    • some landlords thought they should not be responsible for their tenant’s behaviour
    • those in favour of the schemes tended not to make further comment as to why they supported them
    • attendees at the forums did report concerns about poor accommodation and amenities and landlords not acting on issues raised
    • some attendees thought there was a lot of sub-letting and overcrowding leading to a lack of control by landlords
    • some attendees said anti-social behaviour is a big problem for tenants
    • some tenants felt unsupported by the council
    • some tenants felt that rental costs are high but poor value for money
    • some landlords said that they want to know everything is okay so that tenants do not need to contact them.


    We did

    In response to the comments made, some of the proposals have been amended.

    • for the borough-wide additional licensing scheme we reviewed all our data against the new ward boundaries, (the data had only been available against the old ward boundaries at the time of consultation). We concluded that there remains a case for a borough-wide additional licensing scheme, as there are many potential HMOs spread right across the borough that have not previously applied for a licence
    • we also reviewed the data for the selective licensing proposals and have decided that only Designation A (for Burnt Oak, Colindale North and Colindale South) will go forward for designation at this time. We intend to use the updated data to draw up new proposals for a further selective licensing consultation, probably later in 2022
    • we have decided to exclude certain regeneration and new development areas from the scope of the selective licensing scheme for Burnt Oak, Colindale North and Colindale South so that the many new properties in those areas will not require a licence
    • we revised the scope of the additional licensing scheme such that only buildings converted into flats, where all the flats are privately rented will require a licence
    • 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 Housing and Growth Committee on 17 February 2022. The amended proposals described above were agreed and the borough-wide additional licensing scheme is now likely to come into operation from July 2022. The designation will likely be made in April and applications for licences from landlords and agents can be made from April. The selective licensing Designation A is likely to come into operation in January 2023. The designation will likely be made in October 2022. Applications from landlords and agents for both schemes can be made from the date that the designation is signed.

    A further consultation will be launched for selective licensing in some other wards later in 2022. 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 designations once they are signed, on the council’s website Barnet Online.