On the 6 December 2021 we approved the renewal of our discretionary licensing schemes. The renewed additional licensing scheme and the selective licensing scheme will be effective from the 5 June 2022 when the old scheme ends.
These schemes will help improve the lives of residents living in the private rented sector by ensuring that not only will their landlords manage their properties to a reasonable standard but will also face effective enforcement action if they fail to maintain these standards. In extreme cases the council will prohibit landlords from renting out their properties in the borough.
The council has undergone a wide-ranging consultation process throughout the borough.
Landlords and tenants were contacted by the council for their views on the renewal of the schemes over a 12-week period. 465 residents responded to the consultation literature.
There is widespread support from tenants, the consensus was that:
- changes should be made to the existing selective licensing scheme.
- Some streets should be removed, and
- Additional HMO licensing is necessary.
A third of landlords believe licensing schemes help to raise standards and enable councils to deal with rogue landlords.
The new additional licensing scheme
The council approved plans for a new borough wide additional licensing scheme, with similar criteria to the scheme currently in operation. It will include all shared accommodation and bedsit-HMOs occupied by three or more people comprising two or more households and sharing amenities.
Following the consultation, we have listened, and as a result we are not going to licence all section 257 HMOs. When the new scheme comes into force on the 5 June 2022, licensing of section 257 HMOs will be restricted to certain buildings converted into flats where:
- None of the flats are owner-occupied, and
- The building is not owned or managed by two or more of the leasehold owners of individual flats within it, either acting individually or through a management company of which they are directors or officers, and
- The building is not in a street subject to selective licensing.
The new selective licensing scheme
The new selective licensing scheme also approved by Cabinet is different to the previous scheme. The current scheme includes all private rented properties on 128 streets. The new scheme has been reduced to 24 streets, 16 of which are in the current scheme. The new scheme starts on the 5 June 2022. You should apply for your selective licence within 7 days of the new schemes start date.
The streets subject to selective licensing are listed below. The eight new streets have are in bold.
- Askew Road
- Baron's Court Road
- Bloemfontein Road
- Blythe Road
- Coningham Road
- Crookham Road
- Dalling Road
- Dawes Road
- Fulham Road
- Goldhawk Road
- Greyhound Road
- King Street
- Lime Grove
- New King's Road
- North End Road
- Richmond Way
- Scrubs Lane
- Shepherd's Bush Road
- Sinclair Road
- Talgarth Road
- Uxbridge Road
- Wandsworth Bridge Road
- Wood Lane
- Woodstock Grove
Rent Repayment Order (RRO)
Tenants who live in an unlicensed HMOs will continue to be eligible to claim back rent paid under a rent repayment order.
- A rent repayment order requires a landlord to return rent to the tenant where certain criteria is met. This can be an amount of up to 12 months of rent.
- The decision is discussed at a First Tier Tribunal and the award is made by a tribunal judge.
- Our Private Sector Housing Team can help support your claim where property has not been licensed.
What offences allows a tenant to apply for a Rent Repayment Order?
- If the landlord lets the property without the correct licensing. For example, without an HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) license.
- If the landlord has harassed or illegally evicted a tenant. This includes using or threatening violence to enter the property.
- If the landlord has failed to comply with a council notice. For example, a formal order to improve the property or a prohibition order preventing them from renting the property.
- If the landlord has breached a banning order.
- How do I apply for a Rent Repayment Order?
- It is recommended you seek advice from Citizen’s Advice or the Hammersmith Law Centre prior to completing a Rent Repayment Order application.
- The application is available on the Government website: Form RRO1: Application by tenant or local housing authority for a Rent Repayment Order (Housing and Planning Act 2016) - GOV.UK
- Will I need to pay anything?
- A fee is required for the application. Further fees may be incurred if a hearing is required.
- Applicants can request their application and hearing fees to be reimbursed within the application or at the hearing.
- Legal costs are not usually required unless the claim is unfounded, or the applicant is behaving inappropriately.