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.'

How accommodation can support student wellbeing image

How accommodation can support student wellbeing

The number of students seeking mental health support while studying at university has increased by more than 50% in the last five years – and their accommodation can play a huge part in this. Zachary Spire explains.
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

ASC Social Worker - Early Intervention Team

Essex County Council
£30300 - £41425 per annum
Job PurposeECC Adult Social Care, through effective practice, is moving towards a transformational shift from a focus on long-term care support, to a England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

IPTU Information Technician

Essex County Council
£20001.0 - £22220 per annum
Essex County Council (ECC) is one of the largest and most dynamic local authorities in the UK, serving a population of 2 million residents, and has a England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Independent Advice and Support Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£30,066 - £34,538
Fantastic opportunity for an experienced Independent Advice and Support Officer to join our multi-disciplinary team. Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Educational & Child Psychologist

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£39,062- £48,383 per annum
Do you enjoy applying psychology creatively and at multiple levels? Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

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