William Eichler 09 May 2019

Council accreditation scheme ‘discriminatory’, landlords say

Council accreditation scheme ‘discriminatory’, landlords say image

A landlord accreditation scheme in Oxford is ‘discriminatory and unlawful’, a landlord association has claimed.

All landlords of houses of multiple occupation are required to obtain a licence, in order to rent out their property lawfully.

In Oxford, private landlords accredited by the council are able to obtain a longer HMO licence than landlords who lack the accreditation, even if landlords are able to demonstrate expertise in alternative ways.

According to the Residential Landlords Association (RLA), this has created an unfair situation because it provides those accredited landlords with financial and other benefits.

The RLA has written to Oxford City Council arguing that the scheme breaches the EU Service Directive, which clearly states that accreditation and licensing ‘cannot be provided in a way which discriminates based on country of establishment’.

‘It is very concerning that there are so many apparent illegalities in Oxford City Council’s accreditation scheme,’ said David Smith, policy director for the RLA.

‘The RLA strongly urges the local authority to review the scheme and would welcome the chance to meet with council representatives to discuss our concerns further.’

The council said it was 'disappointing' the RLA had not chosen to meet with them to discuss their concerns.

Ian Wright, head of regulatory services and community safety at the council, said: 'We received a letter from the RLA and responded on 23 April offering a meeting to discuss the matters raised. It is disappointing that the RLA has chosen to issue a press release before meeting with us, but we are obviously still happy to meet with them.

'Our HMO licensing scheme aims to protect tenants and ensure their homes are in good repair and meet fire, gas and electrical safety standards. We developed the system following lengthy consultation with local landlords, who requested that we reward landlords who do more to look after their tenants with lower fees and longer licences. We took these comments on board when we designed the system.'

Maidstone’s growth accelerator image

Maidstone’s growth accelerator

William Eichler discovers how Maidstone BC managed to improve business survival rates and promote new start-ups through the creation of the Business Terrace.
Alternative lending sources image

Alternative lending sources

Roxana Mohammadian-Molina explores how innovative sources of funding can help solve the UK’s housing shortage.
Highways jobs

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32,029 - £34,788 per annum
Currently seeking an enthusiastic and experienced individual to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Head of Operational and Commercial Services

Copeland Borough Council
£66,273.48 per annum
Looking for a professional with ambition and inspirational leadership qualities, with operational service and... Cumbria
Recuriter: Copeland Borough Council

Senior Practitioner FRAT

London Borough of Bexley
£42,198 - £48,156 (inclusive benefits)
Looking to appoint an experienced Senior Social Workers to assist us in assessing family members/friends to see whether... Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

SEN Case Officer

London Borough of Bexley
£33,738 - £39,696
Would you like to support the educational opportunities for children and young people with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities in Bexley? Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Senior Practitioner – Looked After Children

London Borough of Bexley
£42,198 - £48,156 inc benefits
Do you think you have what it takes to join our team of excellent and dedicated social work professionals? Bexleyheath, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine