Council starts extensive consultation on new property licensing schemes

Published: 21 November 2018

Slough Borough Council has launched two public consultations concerning the licensing of rented properties in the town.

Following the implementation of new legislation relating to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) the council has reviewed its approach to property licensing across the borough.

The council is committed to making sure private rented properties offer residents a choice of safe, quality and well managed accommodation.

Most private sector landlords operate professionally, providing good housing options for local people. Sadly, the council still has concerns about levels of anti-social behaviour and overcrowding; with some properties failing to meet satisfactory levels of tenancy and property management.

Slough Borough Council is proposing two new licensing schemes to tackle these issues. These proposals would allow the council to focus action against landlords who ignore their responsibilities while providing light touch regulation for landlords who are compliant.

Proposal 1 - Borough-wide ‘additional licensing scheme’
This scheme would cover ALL small houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) not covered by mandatory licensing. For example, this would cover a property forming two or more households, but with fewer than five people, sharing some basic facilities or amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.

Proposal 2 - Targeted ‘selective licensing scheme’
This scheme would require the majority of properties rented to single households or two unrelated people in the Central and Chalvey wards to be licensed. A map of the area affected can be viewed at http://www.slough.gov.uk/licensingconsultation.

Landlords across the borough are being encouraged to read the full series of documents that support and expand on the consultation at http://www.slough.gov.uk/licensingconsultation and leave their comments at https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/licensingconsultation before Thursday 31 January 2019.

If you do not have access to the internet, you can write to Neighbourhood Services, Slough Borough Council, Hawker House, Heathrow Business Park, Heron Drive, Langley, Slough SL3 8XP or call 01753 875540 to request a paper copy of the survey.

You can email us at privatesectorhousing@slough.gov.uk or join in the discussion at https://www.facebook.com/Slough-your-homes-our-homes-1193368614065481/ or Twitter @SloughCouncil.

Drop in consultation sessions are also being held on Thursday 6 December at MyCouncil, Landmark Place, High Street, Slough SL1 1JL at 12.30-2.30pm and 6-8pm. Please confirm your attendance in advance as spaces are limited. Further consultation sessions will be arranged if demand is high.

Councillor Mohammed Nazir, cabinet member for housing, said: “One in three Slough residents live in privately rented accommodation and we believe effective licensing schemes provide an effective policy framework to properly regulate and control the private rental sector, driving out rogue landlords and protecting the borough’s tenants.

“Slough’s private rented sector typically provides the lowest quality accommodation and we believe stronger licensing schemes will help to raise standards.

“This is an important consultation that can make real, positive improvements to the private rented sector. I encourage residents to take the time to understand the schemes being put forward and then have their say on our proposals.”