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O'Connor Bowden

News Item

Compulsory Licensing for Landlords

 “Newham Council has proposed all Private Landlords are Licensed. If successful this could be rolled out across the country.” Alison O’Connor

Article Source: The Residential Landlords Association


A London borough could become the first local authority in England and Wales where every single private landlord and rental property within its boundaries must be licensed.

Other local authorities are expected to follow suit, by applying selective licensing across their entire areas.

Newham Council has launched a consultation on compulsory borough-wide licensing. Inviting views, the council says: “Newham has a thriving private rented sector that provides affordable housing options for local people; but the council is concerned about possible overcrowding and anti-social behaviour in some properties.
“Therefore, the council is thinking of licensing private landlords and properties in the borough – in order to ensure that landlords, managing agents, tenants and owners operate legally and professionally."

The consultation runs until December 4.

Newham estimates that around one-third of households in the borough are in the private rented sector, numbering around 35,000 homes. It has already piloted a smaller scale licensing scheme for over a year.

Sir Robin Wales, mayor of Newham, said: “We want to ensure that private sector rented properties are well managed and meet a good standard. We also want to deal with the crime and anti-social behaviour that is sometimes associated with bad private sector rented housing.

“There are good landlords in Newham and we want to work with them. Unfortunately there are also some unscrupulous ones – which these proposals would target.”

Shelter welcomed the Newham move. Kay Boycott, director of communications, policy and campaigns, said: “We urge other local councils to follow Newham’s lead in sending a clear signal that enforcing the law against rogue landlords is a priority.”