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Private Rented Property Licensing

Borough landlords are to be written to over the next couple of months to put them on alert that the new Private Rented Property Licensing scheme comes into effect from 1 April 2015.

It will be compulsory for landlords of private rented properties to have a valid licence in place for each and every property they rent. The Council is working to make the online application process as simple as possible as landlords with multiple properties will have to complete a form for each of their properties.

Councillor Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing, said, “A strong link has been identified between levels of antisocial behaviour and homes that are rented out privately. The private rented sector makes up one-third of homes within the borough, so it is an issue that we need to address.

“We know we have got a lot of decent, responsible landlords in the borough who are very supportive of this scheme and understand the need to tackle antisocial behaviour. They understand that irresponsible landlords give the wider landlord community a bad name by not addressing issues with their tenants and that there needs to be some way of holding to account landlords who simply take the rent and then turn their back on any problems their tenants inflict upon neighbours.”

The licensing system will mean the borough’s private landlords will have to meet conditions such as obtaining references for new tenants before allowing them to rent their home and dealing with complaints of anti-social behaviour or criminal activity in the property.

Landlords will be able to apply for a licence in January next year at a cost of £500 for a five year licence. However an ‘earlybird discount’ offer of £250 is being made by the Council to landlords who obtain a licence in the first three months of next year in the run-up to the go-live date.

Cllr Limbajee, said, “Landlords who take advantage of the discounted rate will be paying less than £1 a week for a licence, which is a small price to pay. We will have an inspection programme to check and pursue landlords that do not obtain a licence or comply with conditions.”

For more information about the Private Rented Property Licensing scheme phone 020 8496 3000 or email Free internet access is available at all libraries in the borough.

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