An Englishman's house is Prescott's Castle..
Housing Act 2004 - Factsheet 5:
Part 3 of the Act provides that a local housing authority (LHA) may make a licensing scheme for privately rented accommodation in its area, or any part of it, providing certain conditions are met.
A scheme may be made if the area satisfies one of the following conditions:
An area has low housing demand (or is likely to become such an area) with a significant stock of privately owned houses let on short term arrangements and the LHA is satisfied the introduction of licensing, when combined with other measures taken by the LHA, solely, or in conjunction with others, would lead to an improvement in the social or economic conditions of the area.
Most private landlords will be required to obtain a licence (either for themselves or for their managing agents) in order to let or manage residential property in an area where a licensing scheme exists.
If the property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) and is required to be licensed under Part 2 of the Act (see Factsheet 3) no licence is required under a selective licensing scheme.
A licence fee is payable.
Controlling or managing a house which ought to be licensed, but is not licensed, without a reasonable excuse for doing so will be a criminal offence, subject to a maximum fine of £20,000.
A Part 3 licence may include conditions relating to:
The management of the house, including taking such steps as are reasonable to deal with anti social behaviour of the occupants and people visiting it;
The use and occupation of the house.
A Part 3 licence must include conditions requiring the licence holder to:
Present a gas safety certificate annually to the LHA, if gas is supplied to the house;
Keep electrical appliances and furniture (supplied under the tenancy) in a safe condition;
Keep smoke alarms in proper working order;
Supply the occupier with a written statement of the terms of occupation;
Demand references from persons wishing to occupy the house.
Simply put, if the LHA bunch of bureaucrats decide it would make an area nicer, more to their liking, then they can seize control of houses that private landlords own, and make the Landlords pay for the privilege of being told what they can do with their own property. Who said Socialism was dead?
The Housing Act 2004 contains provisions about the occupation of privately owned empty homes. The device for securing occupation of empty homes is known as an Empty Dwelling Management Order. Once the legislation has been commenced, an Empty Dwelling Management Order would enable a Local Housing Authority, in certain circumstances, to take management control of a dwelling in order to secure occupation of it. The legislation is intended to operate alongside existing procedures for securing occupation of empty homes..... When an EDMO is in force, the LHA takes over most of the rights and responsibilities of the relevant proprietor and may exercise them as if it were the relevant proprietor. A relevant proprietor is not entitled to receive any rent or other payments from anyone occupying the dwelling and may not exercise any rights to manage the dwelling whilst an EDMO is in force.
So don't dither about with that empty property for more than six months or the nice men at the council will take it away from you for the good of the community...