Redbridge landlords risk criminal record if property licence not held

PUBLISHED: 10:34 21 April 2016 | UPDATED: 17:46 21 April 2016

A row of 'to let' and 'sold' signs. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images

A row of 'to let' and 'sold' signs. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Landlords and managing agents who let large houses need to apply for a licence from Redbridge Council or risk criminal prosecution.

The licence is for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) - buildings three or more stories high, have five or more people in one household and who share amenities.

The scheme forms part of Redbridge Council’s drive to improve standards in private rented accommodation.

A council spokeswoman said: “Much needed housing is provided by HMOs but unfortunately tenants in larger shared properties are often vulnerable to standards of poor housing.

“We will continue working with landlords on the standards of accommodation and licensing conditions and also on projects to benefit those residents living in the private rented sector, such as accreditation.”

To grant a licence the council must be satisfied that the proposed landlord or managing agents are letting properties that meet certain standards.

The criteria includes the number of toilets, kitchens and bathrooms available to meet the number of residents.

A requirement to work with the council in dealing with anti-social behaviour and the providing of gas and electrical safety certificates must also be met.

“Stringent enforcement will also make it difficult for landlords to evade licensing and those who fail to apply for a licence face enforcement action, an unlimited fine and a criminal record,” added the spokeswoman.

Valid for up to five years, the licence currently costs between £600 and £800 depending on the size of the house and whether the landlord is accredited.

To apply and for more information visit, email or telephone 020 8554 5000.

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