The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government has backed a five year extension for a massive London council landlord licensing scheme.
Waltham Forest’s selective licensing regime, covering 18 out of 20 wards, gets the go-ahead to commence on May 1.
The council claims that with over a third of its residents renting privately “and evidence that over 8,000 rented homes contain significant hazards”, licensing will enable the council to intervene effectively to help raise housing standards, reduce anti-social-behaviour, and allow the council to deal effectively with non-compliant landlords who exploit vulnerable tenants by letting out overcrowded, unsuitable, and dangerous properties.
A borough-wide selective licensing scheme was first launched in Waltham Forest in April 2015 and ends on March 31 this year.
The new scheme will run for a period of five years and will end on April 30 2025.
Since selective licensing was first introduced in the borough over 27,000 property licences have been issued and the council claims to have:
- issued more than 149 Civil Penalties;
- issued more than 50 interim management orders;
- improved 3,100 privately rented properties; and
- pursued 94 successful prosecutions, resulting in more than £323,000 in court-imposed fines.
Additional licensing in the borough will launch on April 1 and will target HMOs that are privately rented but which do not come within the scope of mandatory HMO licensing and where households share one or more basic amenity such as a bath or WC.