Birmingham City Council given government go ahead to introduce a Selective Licensing Scheme in Birmingham

Published: Tuesday, 20th September 2022

Birmingham City Council has been granted permission by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities under the Housing Act 2004 to introduce a Selective Licensing Scheme for all private rented properties in 25 wards in the city, delivered through a team of 130 staff.

A row of houses in Birmingham. The Council have launched a licensing scheme for private sector houses in 25 wards

The scheme will target wards where the private rented sector is above 20% of properties and there are high levels of deprivation and/or crime. The scheme will be the largest in the UK covering between 40,000 – 50,000 properties. It will last five years and come into force on 5 June 2023.

Councillor Sharon Thompson, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness for Birmingham City Council (BCC), said ‘The new scheme will help us drive up standards across the private rented sector. It was approved after extensive consultation and 130 new jobs will be created to deliver the scheme. We want to ensure that private properties in our poorest wards are providing fit and proper accommodation and that landlords are adhering to their legal responsibilities. While many already do, the introduction of licence conditions that cover a range issues including waste bins, references and tackling anti-social behaviour will ensure the council is in a position to engage and regulate this sector appropriately.

The Selective Licensing Scheme will allow BCC to work with all landlords to drive up standards across all private rented sector properties and join up with other services such as the police to tackle issues such as the high levels of crime that have blighted these wards for too long. Improving standards in the longer term will lead to safer and more stable communities, enabling more tenants to fulfil their potential especially children ”

Birmingham City Council undertook extensive consultation before progressing the scheme. This included meeting with Elected Members, focus groups and a flyer drop at all 125,000 properties in the 25 wards. Over 800 responses were received from landlords, residents (including tenants), and businesses/organisations. There was significant support for the scheme from residents and businesses/organisations.

The cost of a licence to landlords will be £700 for up to five years and the scheme will commence on 5 June 2023

Notes to editors

The wards are:

  1. Acocks Green
  2. Alum Rock
  3. Aston
  4. Balsall Heath
  5. Birchfield
  6. Bordesley Green
  7. Bordesley and Highgate
  8. Bournbrook and Selly Park
  9. Edgbaston
  10. Gravelly Hill
  11. Handsworth
  12. Heartlands
  13. Holyhead
  14. Ladywood
  15. Lozells
  16. North Edgbaston
  17. Small Heath
  18. Soho and Jewellery Quarter
  19. South Yardley
  20. Sparkbrook and Balsall Heath
  21. Sparkhill
  22. Stockland Green
  23. Tyseley and Hay Mills
  24. Ward End
  25. Yardley West and Stechford

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