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Selective Licensing

Proposal for Selective Licensing of privately rented properties in areas of Crosby and Park, Town and Frodingham Wards, Scunthorpe.

Foreword

North Lincolnshire Council recognises that private rented housing provides a valuable offer in meeting our housing needs and providing choice for our residents. We have some well managed private properties with good landlords, working together to enable vibrant communities, investing in both people and place.

The private rented housing sector can also bring challenge, where some properties are poorly managed, meaning a poor offer for the individual resident and wider negative community impacts, including unsightly homes and poor housing conditions, anti-social behaviour, and crime, which is noticeable alongside high levels of migration, deprivation, and environmental impacts.

We are clear on our ambition around wanting our people to be safe and well, achieving a longer and better quality of life within resilient and flourishing communities. We feel that to enable this we need to achieve a healthy private rented sector with good quality properties, all managed to a good standard. This consultation document and supporting information sets out the Council’s proposal to introduce Selective Licensing to areas in Crosby and Town Ward (Area 1) and Frodingham Ward (Area 2).

The aim of the Council through this proposal is to enable better management and enforcement of key issues impacting on our communities by tackling head on those landlords that are not acting responsibly within North Lincolnshire.

We are now undertaking a consultation to ensure that everyone who is likely to be affected by the proposed introduction of Selective Licensing has an opportunity to comment and give their views. We encourage you all to consider our proposal and feedback your views. More details on how to participate are contained in Appendix 3: Consultation Framework.

Councillor Richard Hannigan

Deputy Leader – Adults, Health, Families and Communities

Row of houses advertising the Selective Licensing consultation

Have your say

The Executive Summary below summarises the Proposal document, but we suggest you read the Proposal in full and Appendices 1 – 10, before answering the consultation questions.

The government values the private rented sector and wants to see a strong, healthy, and vibrant market. Its aim is a private rented sector that offers a greater security of tenure and safer, higher quality homes for renters. The government is keen to ensure that the sector is encouraged to meet, in a professional way and with decent quality accommodation, the demands placed upon it by the housing needs of the wide range of tenants it services.

North Lincolnshire Council has a significant private rented sector within its housing market which plays a key part in meeting housing needs. It is therefore important that the offer is of high quality and meets government expectations.

Although many landlords operate professionally, the council is concerned about some landlords in certain areas who rent properties that fail to meet satisfactory standards of tenancy and property management. This has a negative impact on the social, economic, and environmental conditions of these areas and the people who live and work there.

Selective licensing is a scheme where (subject to Appendix 6: Exemptions) all properties within a defined area which are privately let or occupied under a licence are required to be licenced by the council. The licence will have conditions attached to ensure the properties are in good condition and are safe, and well managed. (Appendix 4, 4a, 4b: Conditions and Guidance). Selective Licensing would have a significant impact in improving properties through compliance inspections, pro-active engagement with landlords, tenants and residents, and enforcement action where licence conditions are not met. Selective Licensing schemes have a maximum duration of five years.

The council wants to ensure that it has an excellent quality private rented sector where tenants and communities can feel safe with a good quality of life, and it believes that selective licensing schemes in certain areas can help towards achieving this.

The two areas proposed are Area 1 and Area 2 (Both areas are identified in more detail in Appendix 2: Maps and Street Listing);

Area 1: This area is to the north and west of Scunthorpe town centre and covers parts of the Crosby & Park and Town wards. It is an area of high-density housing, mainly comprising terraced properties built in the early 20th century. It covers approximately 1,230 households living in private rented sector properties.

Area 2: This area is south of both Scunthorpe town centre and the railway line and covers part of the Frodingham ward. The housing in this area is also predominately small, terraced properties built in the early 20th century, but there are also some larger semi-detached houses built later. It covers approximately 275 households living in private rented sector properties.

In 2017 the council considered introducing a selective licensing scheme in Area 1, but before doing so, and in line with government guidance, a variety of alternative interventions, such as a Mandatory HMO licencing and voluntary landlord accreditation scheme, were agreed to be implemented to try and resolve any issues. (Appendix 1: Section 6 Other Interventions)

These alternative interventions have had limited impact. Poor housing, high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour continue to have a negative impact on these areas. The council therefore considers that the introduction of a selective licensing scheme in these two areas is now necessary to combat their significant and persistent issues and to form one element of a wider partnership approach aiming to improve social, economic, and environmental conditions.

Appendix 1 of the Business Case presents the evidence for Areas 1 and 2 and the table below provides a summary of that evidence.

 

Selective Licensing by Reason AREA 1 Strength of Evidence  AREA 2 Strength of Evidence 
Poor Housing Conditions   Strong: Significantly exceeds the North Lincolnshire wide figures on all 6-housing metrics   Strong:  exceeds the North Lincolnshire wide figures on 5 of the 6-housing metrics  
High Levels of Crime  Strong: Significantly exceeds the North Lincolnshire wide crime figure   Low Crime is lower than the North Lincolnshire wide figure  
A significant and persistent problem caused by Anti-Social Behaviour   Strong: significantly exceeds the North Lincolnshire wide figures across all 7 ASB metrics   Medium: exceeds the North Lincolnshire wide figures on 4 of the 7 ASB metrics 
High levels of Migration  Strong: exceeds 10% threshold over a 5-year period   Medium:  does not meet 10% threshold over a 5-year period yet is higher than North Lincolnshire Average. 
High Level of deprivation   Strong: Most deprived 10% of communities in England  Strong Most deprived 10% of communities in England 

 

Having considered the evidence North Lincolnshire Council is consulting on the proposal to introduce a selective licensing scheme in two small areas of Scunthorpe where private sector rented properties are concentrated. This proposal sets out the rationale for the scheme. Both areas have been selected due to their high concentration of poor housing conditions, high levels of crime, anti-social behaviour, and deprivation. Both areas have also experienced increased overseas inward migration. Together the two areas cover a total of 1,505 private sector rented properties, 12% of the total private rented sector properties in North Lincolnshire.

The council needs to ensure that it has sufficient resources to implement, enforce, monitor, and secure the scheme throughout the proposed five-year period. The proposal also sets out the licensing fees payable by landlords. Those properties that require more regular inspection and support to improve the management of the properties will pay differently throughout the 5-year period. This is to ensure that this is targeted and paid for by those that need to improve the most. The proposal sets out that a responsible landlord will pay as little as £3.67 per week (Appendix 5 Fee Proposal)

Finally, in line with government guidance, the council must consult on the proposed scheme for at least 10 weeks, to ensure that everyone who is likely to be affected by the proposed designation (both inside and outside the two areas) has an opportunity to express their views and understands the rationale which supports the introduction of the scheme. Information about different ways to participate in the consultation is also set out in the business case. (Appendix 3: Consultation Framework)

Selective licensing is a discretionary licensing scheme, where (subject to some specific exemptions identified in Appendix 6) all properties within a defined area which are privately let or occupied under a licence are required to be licenced by the council.

License conditions typically include a range of requirements aimed at ensuring properties are safe, warm and are managed in a satisfactory way. Such a scheme provides the local authority with an additional tool to help better regulate privately rented accommodation and improve standards of housing management within the area1. Proposed Licence Conditions are provided at Appendix 4 and Licence Condition Guidance Notes are provided at Appendix 4A and 4B.

A designation can be in force for a maximum of 5 years, but it can be re-declared for a further 5-year period after this time if there is evidence to support this. By making the designation, all privately rented accommodation in the designated area not fitting into the definition of the specified exemptions and Mandatory Licensable House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) as detailed in Appendix 6 will require a selective license. Owners of rented properties will be required to make an application to the council for a licence and will need to nominate either the manager or the owner to be the licence holder.

It was agreed in 2017 that North Lincolnshire Council would consider introducing a selective licensing scheme in parts of the Crosby & Park, Town wards of Scunthorpe. In line with national guidance, it was also determined that before implementing selective licensing, a variety of alternative interventions, such as a voluntary landlord accreditation scheme, be implemented to try and resolve any issues.

Over the past six years these alternative interventions have had limited impact. (Appendix 1, Section 6 Other Interventions). Poor housing, high levels of crime and anti-social behaviour continue to negatively impact communities in parts of the Crosby, Park & Town and these negative outcomes have extended to the Frodingham ward. The council therefore considers that the introduction of a selective licensing scheme in these areas is now necessary to combat the significant and persistent issues and this additional tool will form one further element of a wider partnership approach to improve the social, economic, and environmental conditions in these specific geographical areas.

Before selective licensing can be introduced, a business case, detailing evidential basis for such a scheme should be undertaken. It should explore why certain areas may benefit from a selective licensing scheme and the impact of alternative interventions already implemented. It also sets out the proposed conditions of license and exemptions, and a consultation framework to ensure that everyone who is likely to be affected by the proposed designation has an opportunity to express their views and understands the rationale which supports the introduction of the scheme.

2. The Proposed Selective Licensing Areas

This business case will consider the merits of introducing selective licensing in two areas of Scunthorpe.

Where the council is considering designating an area on the following grounds:

  • poor housing conditions and/or
  • migration
  • deprivation
  • crime

It may only make a designation if the area has a high proportion of housing in the private rented sector.

The evidence presented below for Area 1 and Area 2 demonstrates that the private rented sector is above the national average of 19% and therefore both areas can be considered as having a high proportion of private rented properties, enabling the above grounds to be considered as part of the designation. Table 1 below summarises this data.

 

Table 1 Area 1 Area 2
Selected Area Private Rented % as a % of housing stock 54.9%  31.4%
North Lincolnshire Wide Private Rented Sector as a % of housing stock 17.2%  17.2%
National Private Rented Sector as a % of National Housing Stock 19% 19%
Area 1: This area is to the north and west of Scunthorpe town centre and covers parts of the Crosby & Park and Town wards. This is an area of high-density housing, mainly comprising terraced properties in a network of linear streets built in the early 20th century.
Map showing streets in area 1 of the Selective Licensing consultation

Streets – See Appendix 2 for a full list of the streets and properties that comprise this area.

Population* – 6,000

Households* – 2,200

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

  • Mandatory Licensed HMO – 6
  • Suspected HMO – 107
  • Non-licenced HMO – 70

Housing tenure*

Selected areaNorth Lincolnshire

  • Owns outright – 13.5% (38%)
  • Owns with a mortgage or loan or shared ownership – 12.3% (29.8%)
  • Social rented – 19.4% (15%)
  • Private rented or lives rent free – 54.9% (17.2%)

* These figures are derived from the 2021 Census, using the output areas that most closely correspond to the licensing review area2. As a result, these must be treated as approximate rather than exact figures.

The age profile for area 1 shows it has a younger age profile than that for its respective wards and the North Lincolnshire average. The proportion aged between 20 and 40 in area 1 is 39.9%, compared to 29.1% for Crosby and Park, 33.4% for Town, and 22.9% for North Lincolnshire.

Age-Profile-Area-1-bar-chart
Area 2: This area is south of both Scunthorpe town centre and the railway line and covers part of Frodingham ward. The housing in this area is also predominately small, terraced properties built in the early 20th century, but there are also some larger semi-detached houses built later in the century.
Map outlining the streets and roads in area 2 of the consultation, Crosby, Park and Town wards.

Streets – See Appendix 2 for a full list of the streets and properties that comprise this area.

Population* – 2,000

Households* – 880

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO)

  • Mandatory Licensed HMO – 3
  • Suspected HMO – 3
  • Non-licenced HMO – 2

Housing tenure*

Selected areaNorth Lincolnshire

  • Owns outright – 19.9% (38%)
  • Owns with a mortgage or loan or shared ownership – 20% (29.8%)
  • Social rented – 28.7% (15.8%)
  • Private rented or lives rent free – 31.4% (17.2%)

* These figures are derived from the 2021 Census, using the output areas that most closely correspond to the licensing review area2. As a result, these must be treated as approximate rather than exact figures.

As with area 1, area 2 also has a younger age profile than that for its respective wards and the North Lincolnshire average. The proportion aged between 20 and 40 in area 2 is 33.2%, compared to 28.4% for Frodingham, and 22.9% for North Lincolnshire.

Age-Profile-Area-2-bar-chart

2.1 Is confirmation from central government required?

Local authorities are required to obtain confirmation from central government for any selective licensing scheme which would cover more than 20% of their geographical area or would affect more than 20% of privately rented homes in the local authority area.

The combined geographical area of areas A and B is less than 20% of the total geographical area of North Lincolnshire.

  • North Lincolnshire has a total geographical area of 328 square miles.
  • Area A has a geographical area of 0.21 square miles.
  • Area B has a geographical area of 0.13 square miles.
  • The combined geographical area of areas A and B amounts to only 0.06% of North Lincolnshire’s total area.

The combined number of private rented sector properties in Areas A and B is less than 20% of the total number of private rented sector properties in North Lincolnshire.

  • The 2021 census recorded 12,555 households living in private sector rented properties in North Lincolnshire.
  • Area A contains an estimated 1,230 households living in private rented sector properties.
  • Area B contains an estimated 275 households living in private rented sector properties.
  • The total number of private sector rented properties in areas A and B amounts to 1,505, 11.99% of the total private rented sector properties in North Lincolnshire.

As a result, introducing a selective licensing scheme, whether in one or both of these areas would not require confirmation from central government.

3. Why the Council is proposing Selective Licensing

Introducing a selective licensing scheme to improve housing standards and address issues relating to anti-social behaviour and property management would be consistent with other policies and strategies, progress several of the council’s priorities and importantly respond to the voice of residents in these areas that we need to try alternative methods to enable positive change to people and place.

The North Lincolnshire Council Plan3 sets out four overarching priorities. Selective licensing contributes to each priority by enhancing health and wellbeing through improved housing standards, targeting crime and anti-social behaviour to improve community safety and wellbeing, stimulating economic growth via the repair, and upgrading a poor quality private rented home, and ensuring efficient resource allocation that will allow the targeting of criminal and rogue landlords.

Keeping people safe and well: Selective licensing aims to improve housing standards, ensuring that residents in privately rented properties have access to better living conditions and decent homes which are warm and safe thereby improving health outcomes. Via the use of Licence Conditions Selective Licencing also aims to improve anti-social behaviour and crime associated with the private rented sector supporting communities to live safely and independently within their homes

Enabling resilient and flourishing communities: By regulating private rented properties, the council can help enable a safer, cleaner, and greener local environment. This supports the intention to create stronger communities with access to improved social, economic and environmental conditions, also aligning with the goal of fostering community spirit and enabling people to be good neighbours and meet their ambitions.

Enabling economic growth and renewal: Selective licensing can drive improvements in the quality of housing and the transition to net zero, this improvement to homes attracts a skilled workforce and encourage economic growth. Ensuring privately rented homes are environmentally sustainable and of high quality aligns with the objective of expanding the local economy and creating highly skilled jobs while transitioning to a net-zero carbon position.

Providing value for money for local taxpayers: By implementing selective licensing, the council can enhance its regulatory oversight of the private rented sector, which will in turn allow the council to focus its resources where they are most needed, with a specific emphasis on rogue and criminal landlords who form the minority of landlords. This supports the goal of being well-managed and financially sustainable, ensuring that taxpayers receive value for money while maintaining high-quality services. This will in addition create benefits to improve the housing market for all homeowners and landlords.

4. Local Context

A series of strategies and plans have been developed to drive action towards these priorities, including:

  1. Housing Plan [2023-28] Aims to create the conditions to deliver new homes and improve existing stock to meet the housing needs of residents. One of the priorities of the plan is improving the quality of privately rented homes and HMOs, and selective licensing is highlighted as a key intervention that would help achieve this.
  2. Economic Growth Plan [2023-28] Developed to enable existing businesses to create new well-paid highly skilled jobs and attract others to invest in the area. The plan identifies that a plentiful supply of good-quality housing is central to facilitating economic growth, with well-maintained private rented sector properties a key component of this housing mix. By improving standards, selective licensing is intended to increase the proportion of private rented properties likely to appeal to individuals relocating to North Lincolnshire to take advantage of newly created high-skilled employment.
  3.  Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy [2021-26] Works to improve North Lincolnshire’s health and wellbeing and reduce health inequalities. The areas being considered for selective licensing suffer from comparatively poor health, with overall life expectancy and healthy life expectancy below the North Lincolnshire average. It is hoped that improving the environmental quality of these areas will create an environment more conducive to healthy living.
  4. A Green Future [2021-30] Aims to create a cleaner, greener and more sustainable North Lincolnshire. The strategy includes an intention to upgrade the energy performance of as many homes as possible by 2035. Selective licensing can contribute to improving energy efficiency as landlords may be required to make upgrades to their properties such as repairing or upgrading heating or insulation systems to satisfy licensing conditions. The designation can also lead to increased oversight and enforcement of housing regulations including the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards under the Energy Act 2011.
  5. Crime and Disorder Strategy [2022-25] Coordinates activity designed at making North Lincolnshire a safer place to live, work and visit. Ensuring areas have safer and better maintained housing helps to deter criminal activities and create safer and more welcoming communities for everyone.
  6. Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Strategy [2019-24] Created with the aim of preventing homelessness wherever possible and ensuring everyone facing homelessness gets the help they need quickly. The enforcement of property standards through interventions such as selective licensing can lead to safer and more habitable rental properties, reducing the risk of homelessness due to unsafe living conditions. Additionally, this initiative can help ensure more vulnerable individuals who are at risk of homelessness are able to access stable and well-maintained housing that better supports independent living and overall wellbeing.
  7. Scunthorpe Town Investment Plan [2020] Sets out a path to deliver increased prosperity for Scunthorpe, creating a high-quality economy and environment coupled with economic and social opportunity for all. Areas 1 and 2 are located very close to central Scunthorpe. Ensuring that the housing in these areas meets high standards, in conjunction with the other projects set out in the Plan, will contribute to making the town a more attractive place for businesses and individuals to settle and grow.
  8. Litter Plan: [2022] Aims to create a cleaner, greener, healthier, more sustainable and attractive North Lincolnshire. As properties are maintained to higher standards, the area’s overall appearance improves, fostering a sense of community pride and discouraging littering.
  9. Local Plan: Helps to determine the future pattern of development in North Lincolnshire and make decisions on planning applications. North Lincolnshire’s Local Plan is currently going through the approval process and has been submitted to the Government’s Planning Inspectorate for examination. Selective licensing is a tool that helps align existing privately rented housing stock with the goals and principles outlined in the plan, chiefly meeting local housing needs, supporting the local economy and achieving prosperous town centres. A section of the Plan concerns the increase of new privately rented HMOs, and makes the following points:
    • Where there is a high density of HMO accommodation this can result in a decline of traditional dwelling houses and a rise in amenity issues for more permanent residents. HMOs can raise a number of issues and problems, particularly in areas of high concentration, including parking provision, waste/recycling storage and removal, privacy and visual and residential amenity (particularly in terms of noise generation).
    • Any significant impact on the surrounding roads and the amenity of future residents and adjoining or neighbouring properties should be minimised. Furthermore, it is important to ensure that development takes place in appropriate locations, avoiding the overconcentration of such properties where the issues above would be proliferated.
    • Proposals for the creation of HMOs should provide satisfactory standards of accommodation. One step in achieving this is to ensure that there is adequate living space which complies with DCLG Nationally Described Space Standards March 2015 (or any successor).
    • Where there is evidence to demonstrate an over intensification of HMOs within North Lincolnshire which is having a detrimental impact upon the character and amenity of the local area, the Council will seek to put in place an Article 4 Direction. In these circumstances the Article 4 Direction would seek to require that a planning application is made to North Lincolnshire Council for the change of use of a building from a dwelling house (Planning Use Class C3) to a small HMO (Planning Use Class C4) by removing existing Permitted Development Rights for dwelling houses to convert to HMOs without planning approval.
    • Planning permission will not normally be granted where the proportion of HMOs (either C4 or sui generis) will result in HMOs representing 25% or more of the residential properties within a circle of 50m radius measured from the application site.
    • Planning permission will be required to change the use of a dwelling to a large HMO (6 or more occupants), or to intensify the use of a lawful licenced large mandatory HMO of 5 or more occupants (without any physical extension or external alteration to the property) by increasing the number of occupiers.

5. National Context

The introduction of selective licensing aligns with recent messaging and policy from central government. In the years to come, the government aims to implement various measures that ensure tenants in the private rented sector are more likely to have a consistently positive experience. The Government recognises that nationally dilapidated homes are costing the NHS an estimated £340 million per annum and are holding back local areas, making them less attractive places to live and work. Reforms aim to celebrate the overwhelming majority of landlords who do a good job and give them peace of mind that they can repossess their property when a tenant is behaving badly, or their circumstances change.

5.1 Private Rented Sector White Paper4

The government published its White Paper, ‘A fairer private rented sector’ in November 2022, setting out its long-term vision for the private rented sector. It sets out five ambitions:

  • All tenants should have access to a good quality, safe and secure home.
  • All tenants should be able to treat their house as their home and be empowered to challenge poor practice.
  • All landlords should have information on how to comply with their responsibilities and be able to repossess their properties when necessary.
  • Landlords and tenants should be supported by a system that enables effective resolution of issues.
  • Local councils should have strong and effective enforcement tools to crack down on poor practice.

The White Paper also reaffirms the important role of selective licensing as a tool that can help councils tackle local housing issues.

5.2 Renters (Reform) Bill5

The Renters (Reform) Bill intends to put into legislation many of the proposals highlighted in the ‘A fairer private rented sector’ White Paper. The Bill includes:

  • 1. The grounds on which landlords can seek to repossess properties will be amended and strengthened. The aim is to make it easier for landlords to repossess properties where tenants exhibit anti-social behaviour or repeatedly build up arrears.
  • 2. A new private rented sector Property Portal will be established so tenants, landlords and local councils can access the information. One aim of the portal is to help local authorities target enforcement activity where it is most needed.
  • 3. Landlords will be required to consider tenants’ requests to keep a pet. They would not be able to refuse such a request unreasonably. Landlords would be able to require pet insurance to cover related property damage.

The Bill is currently going through the parliamentary approval process. Royal Assent is not anticipated until the spring of 2024, and provisions will not start to come into force until six months later.

5.3 Decent Homes Standard

The Decent Homes Standard is a housing quality standard which is most commonly referred to in the context of social rented housing stock.

In September 2022, the government published a consultation on proposals to apply the Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector6. It is proposed that to meet the Decent Homes Standard in the private rented sector, a property will have to:

  • Meet the current statutory minimum standard for housing (to be decent it should be free of category 1 hazards, assessed through the Housing Health and Safety Rating System)
  • Be in a reasonable state of repair
  • Have reasonable facilities and services
  • Provide a reasonable degree of thermal comfort.

The government proposes to introduce a legal duty on landlords to ensure their property meets the Decent Homes Standard. A breach of the Standard would be a criminal offence, which could incur a civil penalty or result in a prosecution in a Magistrates’ Court. It would also be a banning order offence, which would prohibit a landlord from letting housing or engaging in letting agency or property management work.

Enhancements to the Decent Homes Standard were not included in the Renters (Reform) Bill. The consultation on introducing a Decent Homes Standard to the private rented sector closed in October 2022 and the government continues to consider the responses.

5.4 Housing Health and Safety Rating System7

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System is a tool used to assess hazards in residential premises. The Standard covers 29 potential hazards and operates by evaluating the potential risk of harm to an actual or potential occupier from their living environment before rating the seriousness of any hazard identified.

The government is reviewing the operation of the System to ensure it is accessible to landlords and tenants, and that it is an efficient tool for councils to use. A number of changes are proposed, including:

1. To make the assessment process more efficient for local authorities and more accessible to landlords and tenants, a simpler means of banding the results of assessments will be produced.

2. To make it easier for landlords and tenants to understand the system, baselines will be published that can be used to make an initial assessment.

3. To ensure assessments are consistent, quick and a solid base for effective enforcement, new statutory operating and enforcement guidance will be published.

New regulations will be necessary to bring these revisions into force. These regulations will be introduced after the conclusion of the Decent Homes Standard review.

5.5 Damp and Mould Review8

In September 2023, the government released guidance for both private and social landlords about how best to manage damp and mould issues in properties. The guidance reaffirms the legal obligations of landlords relating to damp and mould, notably:

  1. Properties should be free from Category 1 hazards: The Housing Act 2004 states that properties should be free from Category 1 hazards, as assessed through the Housing Health and Safety Rating System.
  2. Homes should not have any conditions ‘prejudicial to health’: Damp and mould can be known as a “statutory nuisance” under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 if it harms the health of a tenant. Councils can take legal action against the landlord, in these circumstances.
  3. Properties need to be fit to live in: Under the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018, properties need to be free from serious damp and mould that can harm a tenant’s health for them to be fit to live in.
  4. Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards: Although the Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) Regulations 2015 do not explicitly cover damp and mould, good energy efficiency in a building can reduce the risk of condensation. Currently, private rented sector properties must meet a Minimum Energy Efficiency Standard of an EPC rating of E.

5.6 Public Sector Equality Duty

Section149 of the Equality Act 2010 sets out a Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) which requires public authorities to have due regard to several equality considerations when exercising their functions. The PSED relates to individuals with “protected characteristics” of:

  • age
  • disability
  • gender reassignment
  • marriage and civil partnership
  • pregnancy and maternity
  • race
  • religion or belief
  • sex
  • sexual orientation.

The PSED also requires public authorities to have due regard to the need to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between persons who share a “relevant protected characteristic” and persons who do not.

Elimination of discrimination, harassment, victimisation or other relevant conduct:

As part of the proposed Selective Licensing Scheme the council will ensure that it makes use of its powers under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977 to prevent discrimination that might occur via illegal eviction and harassment.

It will also ensure that via the delivery of its Disabled Facilities Grants and the Selective Licensing Scheme, landlords permit tenants to put in place reasonable housing adaptations where they are requested. This is proposed as a Condition of the License and would also apply to discharge from hospital adaptations in addition to GP referrals.

Advancing Equality of Opportunity and Good Relations:

The council recognises its responsibility to advance equality of opportunity and the need to foster good relations between persons who share a “relevant” protected characteristics and persons who do not share it within the delivery of its services.

It is anticipated that the proposed Selective Licensing Scheme will promote and improve equality of opportunity and good relations between those who have relevant “protected characteristics” and those who are not. This is evidenced by the high migration numbers in Appendix 1 of the Business Case and the wide range of languages and ethnicity in these areas. It is hoped that the scheme will foster better relations between the transient migrant population and the more settled community.

The Risk Register provided at Appendix 8 also sets out steps the council will take to ensure that the PSED is given due regard in the delivery of the scheme and council services.

Appendices

6. Next Steps

There will be a formal consultation on the proposed selective licensing scheme which will last a minimum period of 10 weeks. The consultation will commence 8 February 2024.

Further information about the consultation process and how to get involved will be set out on the Council’s website. Everyone who is likely to be directly affected by proposals and those immediately adjacent to the proposed areas will be contacted and invited to participate in the consultation through a variety of consultation methods as set out in the Consultation Plan in Appendix 3.

 

Date Action
August 2023 Approval to undertake public consultation
February 2024 Formal consultation begins for 10 weeks
Mid/late April 2024 Analyse consultation results and feedback
Late April 2024 Finalise scheme to take account of consultation feedback, preparation of report to summarise consultation findings
April/Early May 2024 Report for final consideration and decision on selective licensing proposal
Early May 2024 Notice of proposed designation to run for three months
August 2024 Commencement of Licensing scheme (three months after designation as required by the Housing Act 2004)

7. Contact Details for further information

Should you require any further information about the Councils Selective Licensing proposal please do not hesitate to contact us through one of the contacts detailed below:

Council Website: www.northlincs.gov.uk/selective-licensing

Email: housing@northlincs.gov.uk

Write to: North Lincolnshire Council, Selective Licensing Consultation, Environment, Health & Housing, Church Square House, 30 – 40 High Street, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, DN15 6NL

Telephone: 01724 296051