Redbridge Council launches private property licensing scheme to crack down on rogue landlords
PUBLISHED: 16:01 07 August 2017 | UPDATED: 16:01 07 August 2017
Absentee landlords who fail to deal with poor conditions may be a thing of the past thanks to a new borough-wide Redbridge Council scheme.
The council launched its private property licensing scheme at an event held at City Gates Church in Clements Road, Ilford, on Thursday.
During the event, the council’s cabinet member for housing, Cllr Farah Hussain, and council leader Cllr Jas Athwal presented some of the scheme’s first landlords with their licences.
Cllr Hussain also gave a presentation about how the scheme, which makes it compulsory for all private property landlords to register with the council, will improve standards of privately rented homes across the borough.
The scheme requires landlords to hold a separate licence for each property they rent out in the Borough, and means landlords will be prosecuted if they fail to adhere to certain licence conditions – including anti-social behaviour from tenants and unclean or overcrowded properties.
Cllr Farah added: “We are improving standards in Redbridge’s private rented properties by working with landlords through our property licensing schemes and will use all the powers available to us to bring criminal landlords into compliance.
“A recent prosecution taken by our Housing Standards team resulted in a landlord facing a fine of almost £17,000 for not complying with the law in Redbridge and renting out a dangerous property of poor standards putting tenants lives at risk.
“This case proves the necessity of our commitment to ensuring private tenants in our Borough have safe, quality accommodation.
“In these types of cases the landlords are not only taking advantage financially but also placing tenants’ lives in danger, and we won’t stand for this.”
A trial of the scheme has already been running for more than a month in Clementswood and Valentines wards.
The council has now received 248 additional applications and 741 selective licence applications as property owners seek to avoid a needless court summons over a misunderstanding involving the new policy.
The licence application fee is £500 but reduced to £250 if applied for before 13 September.
To find out more and to apply for your licence visit www.redbridge.gov.uk and search ‘property licensing’.