William Eichler 21 April 2017

Tribunal rules planning status relevant when determining renting license applications

Tribunal rules planning status relevant when determining renting license applications image

A tribunal hearing has ruled that a council can consider the planning status of a property when determining an application for a renting license.

A ruling from the Upper Tribunal (Lands Chamber) said Waltham Forest Council is able to consider the planning status of a property when deciding on an application for a Private Rented Property Licence.

The case related to applications made for licences in 2015 where the landlord had converted two properties into flats without the required planning permission.

In both cases the council proposed to only issue a one-year property licence — rather than the usual full-term of up to five years — to allow time for the planning issues to be resolved.

The landlord appealed the council’s decision at First-Tier Tribunal for both properties, and in both cases the periods of the licences were increased to five years, on the basis that compliance with planning requirements was not relevant to licensing.

Waltham Forest Council appealed this ruling at the Upper Tribunal, which found in the council’s favour.

The Judge ruled that planning matters could properly be taken into account in determining a licence application and observed that inappropriate or over-intensive uses of land, especially in a densely populated urban area, are an example of anti-social behaviour.

He added that, when properties are developed without planning consent, ‘important safeguards against anti-social behaviour will have been evaded’, and therefore the areas of planning control and licensing do overlap.

The Judge ruled that the current licences on the properties should continue until 12 June 2017, giving the landlord sufficient time to make new applications. The council can then use all available evidence to make a decision in relation to the new licence applications.

‘This is an important decision and we are pleased that the Upper Tribunal has ruled in our favour,’ said Cllr Khevyn Limbajee, cabinet member for housing.

‘The judgement makes a clear link between breaches of planning conditions and anti-social behaviour, which supports our decision to issue licences for a shorter time period.

‘Where planning laws have been flouted, the grant of a reduced licence period properly puts the onus on the landlord to resolve these breaches at their own expense.

‘Reducing anti-social behaviour is a key aim of Waltham Forest's landlord licensing scheme and we are already seeing the positive effect it is having locally.

‘The majority of our landlords operate responsibly, but I do want to emphasise that where necessary, we will take action to ensure they are compliant with the scheme and are providing good quality accommodation for their tenants.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Social Worker - SGO & Connected Person Assessment Team

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Special Guardianship Order (SGO) & Connected Person Assessment Team The SGO and Connected Person's Assessment Team (North & Mid) first started in Apri England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Economy & Business Service Manager 

Harborough District Council
£49,350 to £52,368
Looking for an experienced manager who understands public sector responsibilities with the proven ability to deliver our ambitions. Market Harborough, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Harborough District Council

Head of Income and Financial Inclusion

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£48,800 - £66,000 per annum
You’ll have excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with a substantial track record of successful performance management. Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Advanced Practitioner

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£33.600 - £45,400 per annum
Looking for an Advanced practitioner Social workers to join the Adult social services in the... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Adult Principle Social Worker

The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council
£36,600 - £49,600 per annum
The successful candidate will be a passionate and skilled communicator with ability to work alongside operational Social Workers and... Kensington and Chelsea, London (Greater)
Recuriter: The Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how public sector organisations can unlock the hidden value in their land, and why a new approach to construction could help boost the outcomes of the Government’s One Public Estate programme.

The December issue also considers why learnings from ancient cities could provide the key to promoting wellbeing in the modern built environment. It also contains a case study on how the London Borough of Westminster has provided high quality care for the elderly alongside a block of luxury apartments.

Register for your free digital issue