Council’s licensing scheme to target rogue landlords
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Legal, Local Government
Rogue landlords who provide poor quality housing are the target of a new licensing scheme to improve private rented accommodation for tenants in Croydon.
Under the scheme, every private landlord will be required to obtain a licence, whereby they will have to demonstrate they have met a series of health and safety standards.
The proposed selective licensing scheme is a key part of the 'Don’t Mess with Croydon' campaign to clean up the borough by improving conditions in private rented accommodation.
The licensing process will also require stringent ‘fit and proper’ checks of landlords for any criminal convictions.
Those renting out a property without a licence face fines of up to £20,000, while those who fail to comply with licence conditions can be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000.
Private renting has increased significantly in Croydon with one of the negative consequences being poor quality homes, noise, litter, fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.
In the last four years the number of complaints received by the council concerning private rented housing standards has more than doubled, from 630 in 2010/11 to 1,371 in 2013/14.
The council is also aware that many tenants do not make complaints about their accommodation for fear of losing their homes.
Councillor Alison Butler, cabinet member for homes and regeneration, said: “Although Croydon has many responsible landlords, there are some who rent out accommodation that is not fit to live in and fail to manage their properties.
“We have listened to the concerns not only of tenants living in poor quality homes but to the many residents in Croydon who are affected by poorly kept accommodation in their streets.
“This council is determined to improve the quality of homes for all and this scheme will provide a range of benefits and drive up standards in the private rental sector.”