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Council engages in ‘secret’ licensing consultation exercise

24 November 2020 | Renting

Council engages in ‘secret’ licensing consultation exercise

A London council has been found to have operated an unpublicised consultation exercise for a licensing proposal – and is now committing to re-run the exercise.

The trade website London Property Licensing has discovered that Harrow council has completed a 10 week consultation for additional licensing.

“According to the consultation portal on the council’s website, the additional licensing consultation started on 3 September 2020 and ended on 12 November 2020. London Property Licensing was not notified about the consultation and neither was there a press release on the council’s website” says the site.

It appears trade bodies such as the National Residential Landlords Association were also unaware of the consultation.

Harrow council told London Property Licensing: “While all efforts were taken to consult properly, including contacting all our landlords, advertising through council media channels, posters and so forth, it is recognised that some gaps inadvertently exist.

“Harrow is committed to working with all parties to ensure any scheme introduced is done so for the right reasons, which we still feel is the case here, but more importantly that it is done right and not rushed through.

“To this end, we take on board the comments made and seek to run a second consultation which addresses these points and ensure all parties mentioned are involved.”

Richard Tacagni, the managing director of London Property Licensing commented: “I’m sure many in the lettings industry will welcome Harrow Council’s decision to pause the licensing implementation process and run the consultation again. It is important that all parties have sight to the evidence base and can participate in meaningful consultation on such an important topic.”

London Property Licensing found a number of faults with the consultation exercise that recently ended – in addition to its low level of publicity – and you can read the full story here.

This post has originally been featured in Letting Agent Today.