Poor housing conditions targeted as council moves to enforce licences for 10,000 homes
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Local Government, Regulation
Salford landlord fined for failing to sign up to council's Selective Licensing Scheme
Landlords of up to 10,000 private homes in Brent will have to apply for licences under proposals designed to stamp out poor conditions, overcrowding and anti-social behaviour.
Brent Council wants to become the first local authority in north London to launch a full-scale licensing scheme for private sector landlords, with the aim of raising standards for the minority of tenants who struggle to get repairs done, live in poor conditions or suffer overcrowding.
If approved, it is hoped the proposals will also help people concerned about fly-tipping and noise from some privately-rented homes.
Brent has just launched the consultation on extending its existing, limited licensing scheme, which only covers large houses in multiple occupation.
The council is proposing that all private landlords of smaller houses in multiple occupation in the borough would need a licence along with the landlords of all privately-rented homes in three wards: Harlesden, Willesden Green and Wembley Central.
Licence fees, the council claims, will be reasonable and discounts and incentives will also be offered, although there will be penalties for breaches of any conditions.
Cllr Margaret McLennan, the council's lead member for housing, said: "If you are a tenant, landlord, live or run a business near a rented property, help us raise standards for privately-rented homes and flats by having a say.
"We believe that everyone will benefit from our proposals. Local people will have better homes, neighbours will be reassured and it will be good for landlords' business.
"Our proposals are aimed at the minority of private landlords who give their tenants a raw deal and also at stamping out anti-social behaviour by tenants."