Redbridge’s controversial property licensing scheme gets green light
- Credit: Archant
A scheme to drive up standards and improve the management of private rented accommodation has been given the go ahead.
The decision to introduce the selective licensing scheme was agreed by cabinet on Tuesday following a 12-week consultation which generated more than 900 responses.
The scheme, will cover Clementswood and Valentines wards and makes it compulsory for all landlords of private rented accommodation to get a licence from Redbridge Council.
Cabinet member for housing, Cllr Farah Hussain said: “I am pleased the selective licensing scheme will be introduced to raise housing standards in parts of the Borough where there are high levels of privately rented accommodation.
“Although some private landlords provide accommodation that is well-managed, many of them do not, and the properties are of a poor standard which has a negative impact in the tenants, their neighbours and the whole community.
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“The introduction of selective licensing will make sure private tenants can live in housing that is managed properly and safe to live in.”
But National Landlords Association (NLA) representative, Richard Blanco said: “All the good landlords will now face additional fees and bureaucracy, whilst the worst landlords will remain under the radar.”
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The council hopes to implement the scheme on Monday, May 1 2017 and will charge landlords a £500 fee per property for a five-year period.
“Additional costs may well get passed to tenants in the form of higher rents,” continued Mr Blanco.
“The council has already had a borough wide scheme rejected by the Secretary of State.”
But the authority continues to seek permission from government to introduce a second selective licensing scheme to include 12 other wards; Aldborough, Chadwell, Churchend, Cranbrook, Fairlop, Goodmayes, Loxford, Mayfield, Newbury, Roding, Seven Kings and Snaresbrook.
“The revised proposal may well get rejected too,” he added.
“There are over 100 pieces of legislation in the private rented sector and the council already has ample powers to deal with poor practice.
“It remains to be seen whether they will allocate enough resources to enforce the scheme properly.”
If approved the second scheme will start in September 2017.
Redbridge Conservative leader Cllr Paul Canal said: “It’s still too broad, covers too wide an area. It is still a tax on tenants and still focused on raising money rather than improving conditions and housing supply.