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London Borough of Waltham Forest successfully upholds its selective licencing practice

The London Borough of Waltham Forest has successfully upheld its selective licencing practice. The authority designated its entire area under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004, and has a policy by which licences may be granted for less than the usual 5-year term. One set of circumstances for which the policy anticipates a shorter term is where the property does not have planning permission for its residential use.

In two cases the First-Tier Tribunal held that the policy was unlawful, on the basis that planning has no relevance to the length of the licence. Waltham Forest appealed to the Upper Tribunal, arguing that the lack of planning permission was a relevant factor and that it was rational of it to grant a short licence in order to see whether the planning position could be resolved.

The Upper Tribunal upheld both appeals. The decisions can be accessed via this link.

Ashley Underwood QC acted for Waltham Forest in both appeals.