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Landlord licensing

Waltham Forest Council has agreed to introduce a Selective Licensing scheme next year in order to tackle anti-social behaviour issues in the borough.

A consultation that ran from November to January received over 1,500 responses from residents, tenants and landlords. A Cabinet report reflected the strength of feeling in the borough and underlined the point that a strong link had been found between levels of antisocial behaviour and homes that are rented out privately.

With the private rented sector making up one third of homes within the borough, the Council is committed to doing what it can to ensure that the homes are well managed as more and more residents rely upon these landlords for housing.

It will mean all of the borough’s private landlords will have to apply for a license and 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.

Councillor Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing, said, “Selective Licensing is the best way to make sure landlords don’t simply take the rent from irresponsible tenants and then turn their back on the problems they cause for their neighbours.

“Decent landlords understand the benefit of the scheme and recognise that the fee is likely to only equate to a few pounds a week. This is a small price to pay in order to bring rogue landlords into line and stop them sullying the reputations of all landlords in the borough.

“But more importantly it will mean bad landlords will have to stop their tenants from making the lives of some of our residents a misery – and that is a price well worth paying.”

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