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Apr 06 2017

Consultation on Selective Licensing in South Harrow

Harrow Council has identified areas where there are a number of badly managed and poorly maintained properties which are linked to anti social behaviour. To overcome these problems

Harrow Council is considering introducing selective licensing scheme in the designated area of Roxbourne and Roxeth Wards and would like to extend the scheme over five years borough wide. Map is enclosed showing the roads affected.

Working in partnership with the Police, landlords, agents, tenants etc, we aim to tackle anti-social behaviour and improve areas in low housing demand. We want to improve the area to make it attractive for people to want to live, work and invest in the area.

If the Selective Licensing scheme is introduced, all private rented properties would be required to apply for a licence. This will enable the Council to ensure that fire safety standards, basic amenities and general management of rented properties are being met. A £550 fee would be applied, for up to a 5 year licence.

The results of the consultation will enable the Council to ensure if through the introduction of the Selective Licensing scheme, the Council would be able to eliminate your concerns. We will not give your personal information to anyone else. The information we receive helps us to see if the people who fill in our questionnaires reflect the different groups of people who live in the borough. Under the Data Protection Act 1998, we require your consent to process it. When you fill in the boxes below you are giving your consent.

Why These Areas?

The Government published guidance for Local Authorities in 2015 around Selective Licensing, stating it is applicable where there is a high level of private rented properties (considered anything over 19% of the area) and suffering from one or more of the following:

  • low housing demand (or is likely to become such an area)
  • a significant and persistent problem caused by anti-social behaviour;
  • poor property conditions;
  • high levels of migration;
  • high level of deprivation
  • high levels of crime.

The latest census data shows Roxeth has a 22.5% private rented sector and Roxbourne has 23.69%. Additionally, research from 2012 as well as on going has shown high levels (and increasing) of crime and disorder, especially ASB. Just under a third of properties suffer from multiple deprivation indicators, and over 48% of the population in these wards are from outside the UK. Therefore these Wards do appear to meet the criteria for such a scheme.

You can complete the consultation here, which closes April 28, 2017.

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17 comments

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  1. Wealdstone Warrior

    I have no objections to this scheme, other than the fact this needs to be rolled out across the borough, not just South Harrow. Wealdstone is another hot spot for overcrowded properties that are sub let by the tenants to friends and family. Why has it taken the current Council so long to do this? Oh I know why, there are local elections taking place next year! Strange how Polly and chums have sprung into action recently.

    1. Someonewhocares

      Ah,,, all your usual uninformed ‘Blah Blah, Blah’ again WW: See *this* from over a year ago:

      http://www.harrow.gov.uk/download/downloads/id/8035/harrow_public_notice_wealdstone

      1. Wealdstone Warrior

        Given the mattress dumping epidemic in Wealdstone and the amount of homes that are multiple occupancy, it appears not to be working. You only have to do a Google satellite view of the area to see how many beds in sheds there are.

        1. Someonewhocares

          I didn’t actually say it worked WW; I simply said it *already existed there* as you seemed unaware. Note it is only supposed to be used for certain situations, not ‘universally’ either (as the links posted up explain). Nice of you to apologise for your mistake though….

          In keeping with your ‘Warrior’ aspirations, and based on the notion that 20% of your residents are now in rented properties, why not ask the Council just how many of these are Licensed?

          Similarly if you do have proof of ‘beds in sheds’ then send that information to the Council too!

    2. Linda Robinson

      I think Wealdstone already has its Selective Licensing Scheme, doesn’t it? So does Edgware. This South Harrow one is just the next step. They must think it works otherwise they wouldn’t be rolling it out more widely. As usual it’s a very badly executed consultation though, without any definition of what they mean by a private landlord. I wouldn’t be able to complete it because I’ve no idea whether they would consider me to be a private landlord or not. I’d be pretty annoyed if they tried to charge me £550, so I hope they’re not coming to my ward anytime soon.

      1. Someonewhocares

        Linda See: http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/SN04634

        If you scroll down and download the full document (450K as .pdf) see from around page 9 for their definitions etc on ‘Landlords’.

        1. Linda Robinson

          Thanks Someone, but I’m afraid I haven’t found anything there to help me. I think I’ve looked at the full regulations before and realised that I’d be exempt from any such scheme. http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/370/pdfs/uksi_20060370_en.pdf is probably more useful. But it certainly doesn’t make anything about it clear in these Harrow consultations. No surprises there, it’s what we’ve come to expect. Not many people will bother to wade through it anyway, and even if they do – the decision has obviously already been made. I’m not saying Selective Licensing Schemes are necessarily a bad thing, but Harrow’s consultations always are!

          1. Someonewhocares

            Neither document is ‘easy reading’ – but worryingly individual LA’s can “use their discretionary powers”…

            -And I certainly share your scepticism on the Council’s “Consultations” – which all too often seem to be ‘a chance for the residents to make their views known’ in order that the Council can totally ignore them of course (but still claim ‘they asked for opinions’ etc)

          2. Mike McFadden

            Linda,
            Its clear Harrow are side stepping the real issue’s and applying Labour’s usual get out clause, “Subterfuge”
            The real problem with the massive vermin explosion in Harrow is out of control Beds in Sheds and family homes being turned into virtually hotel type accommodation, with parts of Harrow namely Edgware ward now turned into vermin infested back street slums of Mumbai. Called regeneration area’s by the jokers at Harrow Council.
            You can stand in Constable Gardens at around 6am and watch workers leaving their beds in sheds with bags of rubbish ready to dump along the way.*

            I recently, reported on Harrows poor wed-site, a man that kept dumping food waste on this way to work seen at least 4 times at approximately, 6.20 am and believed to be an illegal worker because these slums seems to cater for that type of customer. “No questions asked”.
            All that followed was he now dumps his rubbish in the same place but at 10/10.30pm. While wearing a hoody up!! So its clearly obvious something is intrinsically wrong with Harrow’s property control or warning system. Where by it seems illegals are getting tipped off instead of prosecuted and removed from the area.

            The real horror is turning family houses to HMO’s with totally “NO” planning permission or regard for the family unit or family values once associated with leafy suburbs of London.

            Furthermore, It’s seems Harrow has acquired a tendency to destroy the English way of life* Why?

  2. Concerned Harrovian

    I agree with Wealdstone Warrior. Wealdstone is another area that needs the selective licensing scheme. it would solve many of the problems.in the area.

    1. Linda Robinson

      Well, it obviously hasn’t solved all Wealdstone’s problems yet, and it’s been in place for a while now. Maybe it just takes time, maybe it’s harder than expected to enforce, or maybe it just won’t work.

  3. Rosalyn

    Having clicked on the link to the councils consultation, one of the documents you are referred to is – Consultation Documents – Map of proposed area. Looking at the map it details the councillors for Roxbourne and provides a photo of each of the labour councillors.It’s a shame that they have not yet amended their records as the late Cllr Bob Currie is still showing.

  4. Concerned Harrovian

    Linda,

    On reflection I think you are right and Wealdstone ward does have the scheme. its neighbouring ward of Marlborough needs the scheme.. Also no scheme is worth its salt if their is no enforcement of the regulations.

    1. Someonewhocares

      Yes CH, without the proper enforcement it is all somewhat meaningless; If the LAs know the 20% threshold is exceeded presumably they know which properties too (or is that just being too logical ?)

      Many other ‘Landlords’ will just not register in order to avoid the £500 fee of course (and/or suddenly their renters will become relatives etc). Other ‘Landlords’ will pay the fee – and which seems to just involve doing background checks on them and making sure they have a Gas Safety Certificate (which they are already supposed to do of course).

      And if Landlords do pay the £500 for this overpriced ‘service’ they will simply put up rents to cover this, too.

      Wonder if any of these points will be covered in the so-called “Consultation” though?

  5. Mike McFadden

    Ladies and Gentlemen please understand “Subterfuge” its Labour’s secret do nothing weapon of hate!

  6. Someonewhocares

    *This* 2015 example illustrates how effective the Councils ‘Consultations’ really are and why…..
    but it may have been be more honest if they had responded with “Noted – but (probably) ignored”?

    https://www.harrow.gov.uk/www2/documents/s132903/Appendix%20C5%20-%20Online%20Comments%20Response.pdf

  7. Harrow Dude

    Will this actually work..MIR in Wealdstone High Street was granted a 24hr license despite the views of the locals and the Councillors who listen to the electorate. What pilchard signed that off?

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