Agenda and draft minutes

Overview & Scrutiny Committee
Monday, 15th July, 2019 7.30 pm

Venue: Conference Room, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions

Contact: Stacey Gilmour 

Items
No. Item

147.

WELCOME & APOLOGIES

Minutes:

Apologies for absence were received from Councillors Erbil, Lappage and Aydin.

 

In the absence of Councillor Susan Erbil, the Vice-Chair, Councillor Achilleas Georgiou chaired the meeting.

 

Councillor Hass Yusef was substituting for Councillor Susan Erbil.

 

Apologies had also been received from Councillor Vicki Pite (who had intended substitute for Councillor Lappage) and Councillor James Hockney (who had intended to substitute for Councillor Smith as he was leading on tonight’s Call-In)

148.

DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to the items on the agenda.

 

Minutes:

There were no declarations of interest.

149.

CALL IN: REVIEW OF THE PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR IN ENFIELD AND PROPOSAL TO GO TO PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON THE INTRODUCTION OF A BOROUGH-WIDE ADDITIONAL LICENSING SCHEME AND A SELECTIVE LICENSING SCHEME pdf icon PDF 143 KB

To receive and consider a report from the Director of Law and Governance outlining details of a call-in received on the Portfolio Decision taken on Review of the private rented sector in Enfield and proposal to go to public consultation on the introduction of a borough-wide additional licensing scheme and a selective licensing scheme in 14 wards (Report No. 60)

 

The decision that has been called in was a Portfolio Decision taken on 20 June 2019 and included on the Publication of Decision List No: 9/19-20 (List Ref:

2/9/19-20) issued on 21 June 2019.

 

It is proposed that consideration of the call-in be structured as follows:

· Brief outline of the reasons for the call-in by representative (s) of the members who   have called in the decision

· Response to the reasons provided for the Call-in by a Cabinet Member responsible for taking the decision

· Debate by Overview and Scrutiny Committee and agreement of action to be taken

 

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Committee received a report from the Director of Law and Governance outlining details of a call-in received on the Portfolio Decision taken on Review of the private rented sector in Enfield and proposal to go to public consultation on the introduction of a borough wide additional licensing scheme and a selective licensing scheme in 14 wards (Report No. 60)

 

The Chair advised that he had yesterday received a letter from Mr Tacagni from London Property Licensing sent for the purpose of this meeting. The Chair had sought advice from Jeremy Chambers, Director, Law & Governance and with his agreeance it had been decided that it was not appropriate to review the letter this evening as it does not form part of the Call-In. However, it can form part of the consultation process and therefore will be forwarded to the appropriate Officers and Councillor George Savva MBE, Cabinet Member, Licensing and Regulatory Services to deal with accordingly.

Action: Doug Wilkinson/Sue McDaid/Councillor Savva

 

The Chair invited Councillor Smith to outline the reasons for call-in.

 

NOTED

 

1.    Councillor Smith set out the reasons for calling in the decision:

·         The report (Key Decision 4870) reviewing the private rented sector in Enfield and proposing to go out to public consultation on a licensing scheme is being called in because the evidence base does not justify the scope of the proposals. The proposed extent of (i) the selective system, which would cover the majority of the wards in Enfield or (ii) in the case of HMOs the whole borough, is unfair to the many private landlords who comply with their legal obligations.

·         The report states (para 5.5) that one of the benefits of the proposals is that the high level of evictions from PRS in Enfield will be reduced because landlords of licensed properties cannot use section 21 of the Housing Act 1988. No mention is made in the report that earlier this year, Government announced that s.21 notices would be abolished, and landlords will no longer be able to evict tenants unless a breach of tenancy agreement has been demonstrated.

·         The proposed licensing fee (£120pa for selective and £180pa for additional) will be passed onto tenants and there are no guarantees that the licence fee would not be raised further in the future.

·         The Council already has powers under a wide range of legislation to take enforcement action against rogue landlords for sub-standard property conditions, overcrowding, harassment, etc. Enfield CAB estimates that it receives over 1000 complaints from tenants each year. A report last year in the Guardian Newspaper identified 53 councils, including Enfield, who had failed to prosecute any private landlords following complaints from tenants between 2015 and 2017,

·         The licensing fee is legally required solely to cover the cost of administration, i.e. the salaries, etc. of the 30 or so inspectors (according to officers) who would be employed by the Council. No information is provided in the report about the current cost of enforcement and whether the Council is sufficiently resourced to actually  ...  view the full minutes text for item 149.

150.

DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS

To note the dates of future meetings as follows:

 

Business meetings of OSC

· Tuesday 23 July 2019

· Wednesday 4 September 2019

· Thursday 7 November 2019

· Wednesday 15 January 2020

· Thursday 13 February 2020

· Thursday 2 April 2020

 

Provisional Call-In dates

· Thursday 8 August 2019

· Thursday 19 September 2019

· Thursday 31 October 2019

· Thursday 28 November 2019

· Thursday 19 December 2019

· Thursday 30 January 2020

· Thursday 6 February 2020

· Wednesday 4 March 2020

· Thursday 26 March 2020

· Tuesday 28 April 2020

Minutes:

NOTED the dates of future meetings as follows:

 

Provisional Call-Ins

 

Thursday 8 August, 2019

Thursday 19 September, 2019

Thursday 31 October, 2019

Thursday 28 November, 2019

Thursday 19 December, 2019

Thursday 30 January, 2020

Thursday 6 February, 2020

Wednesday 4 March, 2020

Thursday 26 March, 2020

Tuesday 28 April, 2020

 

NOTED the business meetings of the Overview & Scrutiny Committee will be held on:

 

Tuesday 23 July, 2019

Wednesday 4 September, 2019

Thursday 7 November, 2019

Thursday 13 February, 2020

Thursday 2 April, 2020

 

The Overview & Scrutiny Budget Meeting will be held on:

 

Wednesday 15 January2020