Lewisham Council
Menu
Council meetings

Agenda and minutes

Venue: 2nd Floor Civic Suite

Contact: Clare Weaser 

Items
No. Item

16.

Minutes pdf icon PDF 25 KB

Minutes:

RESOLVED that the minutes of the meeting of the Licensing Supplementary Committee held on 6 June 2019 be agreed.

 

17.

Declaration of interests pdf icon PDF 208 KB

Minutes:

None.

18.

Borough-wide Selective Licensing Schemes pdf icon PDF 29 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

3.1      Mr Stabeler introduced the report. He said that he is hoping for 4,000 responses to this consultation and would like as much feedback as possible. The Chair asked for slides and the document entitled ‘Talk to us about making renting better’ to be sent to all members of the Council so that it can be sent to residents associations.

 

3.2      The Chair said that proposed fees in Lewisham will be based on Council tax bands. She asked whether other boroughs use this method. Mr Stabeler said that Lewisham are the only borough that base their fees on bands, other boroughs have applied a blanket fee. Officers want to work with landlords to make sure that they deliver the service that want to deliver; it is not fair to penalise some landlords over others.

 

3.3      Councillor Handley said that he is concerned that these extra charges will be passed on to the tenant. He referred to outcomes if a property is not kept up to standard. He said that his understanding is that outcomes are prosecutions for landlords who abuse tenants in their properties, followed by court action and a fine. He asked what stops them from repeatedly abusing their tenants. Ms Jeffery said that when delivering the licensing scheme in Lewisham, officers must make sure that enforcement is in line with licensing, otherwise bad landlords will see that there is not a comprehensive service. Officers will be re-looking at ways of enforcement. Ms Jeffery said that prosecutions have increased to twelve this year, one last year. Officers can now use criminal penalty notices without going to court. Bad landlords can be stopped from offending to a certain extent. There is an issue about whether someone is a fit person. If you have been prosecuted or have 2 penalty notices they would not be considered to be a fit and proper person according to that definition. However, in her experience, she has found that the most effective method of preventing repetition, is by making life difficult for these landlords. This means that officers ensure that these landlords cannot continue their business in this borough. Lewisham have had a number of successes preventing rogue landlords from offending with a small team of officers.

 

3.4      Ms Jeffery believes that one of the benefits of this scheme is that she is talking to licensing and planning enforcement about how they can build those relationships in a better way. She referred to the car wash in Bromley Road; several officers from different departments were involved when it closed. Mr Stabeler said that at the moment, officers have a limited scheme that does not give a full picture of all the properties.  For example, a property with five people can be licensed, but then if the landlord decides they do not want to be part of the licensing scheme because it is too much hard work, one tenant is asked to leave. Officers cannot do anything about this because they do not have the breadth  ...  view the full minutes text for item 18.