In 2012, Southampton City Council (SCC) decided to bring in Additional Licensing in four of its wards – Bargate, Bevois, Portswood and Swaythling.
After initial discussion with SCC, The Southern Landlords Association (SLA) (the pre-runner to iHowz – see our history here) felt the scheme was to complicated to use, and the fees were too high.
In early 2013, the SLA served a Letter Before Action on SCC, informing them that SLA were prepared to take the matter to the High Court. In fact, permission to proceed to the High Court was granted to the SLA, but following subsequent negotiations it was unnecessary to proceed, and the SLA withdrew the case.
The outcome has been:
- a very much simplified Licensing application form
- substantially lower Licensing Fees
- the ability for local landlords to get an SCC approved surveyor to carry out the inspection. This results in very low fees
- a quarterly meeting between SCC and local landlords, that discusses any problems without having to resort to mediation/legal action