To consider the report of the Director of Resources and Housing seeking approval of the business case for selective licensing in Harehills and to designate the area outlined on the map at Appendix 1 of the business case as a selective licensing area, with effect from the 6th January 2020.
(Appendix 2 (Business Case document and appendices) are provided as a stand alone document)
The Director of Resources and Housing submitted a report which presented for the Board's consideration the appended business case regarding the proposal for selective licensing designation in Harehills, and the proposed designation of the area outlined on the map at Appendix 1 of the business case as a selective licensing area, with effect from the 6th January 2020.
It was noted that following the despatch of the agenda papers and prior to the meeting, correspondence which had been received from a member of the public concerning both items 18: ‘Business Case for Proposed Selective Licensing Designation: Harehills’ and item 19: ‘Business Case for Proposed Selective Licensing Designation: Beeston’, had been circulated to Executive Board Members for their consideration as part of the Board’s deliberations on this matter.
It was also noted that following the despatch of the agenda papers, and prior to the meeting, Board Members had received a reformatted version of Appendix 2 to the appended business case, with it being noted that the data in the appendix remained as originally published and circulated, with the information simply being re-provided in a sharper/clearer format for the benefit of the reader.
In presenting the report, the Director of Resources and Housing drew Members’ attention to the legal criteria for designating an area as set out in the report, and the information in the business case demonstrating that these criteria were met.
Also, Members received information on what the scheme would entail and were also provided with the outcomes from the significant consultation processes which had been undertaken. It was noted that overall the residents, and private rented tenants in Harehills who had responded were in favour of the introduction of selective licensing, whilst the vast majority of landlords and all of the managing agents who had responded were against the proposal.
In considering the submitted report and the potential implications of introducing the proposed designation, Members’ attention was drawn to the landlords’ concerns. The Board was informed that these were covered in detail in the accompanying business case. One of the principal concerns was the costs of the scheme, in particular the proposed licence fee, and the impact on rent levels if the costs of the scheme were passed on to tenants. With regard to the licence fee, it was noted that this could only be used to administer the scheme, and that the proposed licence fee of £825 equated to around £3 per week across the 5 years to which it will apply. With regard to rent levels, it was highlighted that these were influenced by the Local Housing Allowance, which was likely to restrict rent increases.
Members discussed the benefits of the scheme for landlords and the incentives for them, with it being noted that there was a discount to the licence fee for landlords who were members of the ‘Leeds Rental Standard’ scheme, that landlord investment in their properties would benefit the area and potentially increase the value of their property and that in implementing such an initiative, there would be further opportunity for the Council to help address issues in the area, such as anti-social behaviour.
Responding to a further enquiry, the Board noted that the potential issue of displacement had been taken into consideration when the proposed boundary had been drawn up.
(a) That the contents of the submitted report and the business case for Harehills as appended to that cover report, be noted;
(b) That the business case for selective licensing designation in Harehills, as appended to the cover report, be approved;
(c) That approval be given to designate the area shown on the business case map as detailed at Appendix 1 of the submitted business case document (appended to the covering report) as a selective licensing area with effect from 6th January 2020;
(d) That it be noted that the Director of Housing and Resources is responsible for the implementation of the resolutions detailed above.