Following a decision by Croydon Council to roll out a borough-wide selective licensing programme on rented properties, Landlords and letting agents with properties in Croydon will have until 1 October 2015 to get their properties licensed. If they fail to do so they could be faced with prosecution and an unlimited fine.
The new selective licensing (known locally as the ‘Croydon Private Rented Property Licence’ (CPRPL), will mean that almost every property let out to an individual, couple or single household anywhere in the Croydon borough will require a license. Multiple occupancy households are currently covered by “HMO licences”.
The new scheme has been implemented to tackle problems with anti-social behaviour and poor property management.
Before the decision to introduce the scheme was made the council took part in a public consultation which found 70% of private tenants and local residents supported the scheme while nearly all the Landlords and Lettings Agents asked were against. One of the reasons for this could be price – the licence will cost £750 per property (discounted to £350 if you buy before 30 September 2015), 50% higher than other boroughs operating similar schemes. A judicial review was submitted by a group of local businesses (Croydon property forum) who argued that the Council had failed to take reasonable steps to consult with people likely to be affected by the licensing scheme. This however was rejected by the High Court.
The scheme will last for 5 years and is expected to cover around 30,000 private rented homes.