In the latest attempt to try to undermine the Council’s private landlord licence scheme, it is being alleged that the scheme is unlawful because it is flawed. See
I asked outgoing Chief Executive Nathan Elvery for a comment. The following reply (7 July) was sent on his behalf:
‘Thank you for bringing the article to our attention. We do not propose to respond formally to it but I am happy to comment for your information.
Taking the wording of the Housing Act 2004, and the legal interpretation which was obtained prior to adopting the wording for the conditions to be attached to our licences, we are completely satisfied that we are fully complying with the Act. Schedule 4 of the Act is drafted in such a way as to outline the outcomes that mandatory licence conditions must achieve. It does not set out the specific wording of the mandatory conditions themselves. This means that the Council may use its own form of words so long as the condition meets the outcome stated in the Schedule. By imposing a condition which states that landlords must ‘obtain’ rather than ‘demand’ references we are using a clearer form of words than those found in the Act while still achieving the same end.
I note your request to be informed when the online register goes live.’
Since then a member of the Norbury Residents Association Joint Planning Committee has pointed out that the register is already on line – see
I have had a look at it and am concerned that it does not have the following search options:
(2) landlord – so people can see multiple licences
(3) landlord addressees – so people can see links between landlords
I have therefore asked whether the register will be revised to include these search options.
I looked at the Norbury SW16 registrations. The number is very low compared with the increase in private renting that has been going on. For example there are multiple tenancies at the newly converted Astral House (1268 London Rd).
A look at various property websites suggest that there are at least 23 properties for rent being currently advertised that do not appear to be on the register.
The Council has responded (17 June) to these concerns saying:
‘The property search function that you mention below is to assist residents to find out if their property, or a neighbouring property, is licenced, and to encourage reporting to us if it is not. The information you’ve provided about 1268 London Road is just the information we’re looking for, so thank you for that, the property will now be looked into.
Although we must have a register of licenced properties there is no obligation on us to have the full register available online. We are looking to provide more information so that online checks can be carried out more easily but we do not plan to include a search function that would include the landlord or the landlord’s address as the licences relate to individual properties.’