Brent Council approves landlord licensing scheme

Cllr Margaret McLennan, Lead Member for Regeneration and Housing at Brent Council.

Cllr Margaret McLennan, Lead Member for Regeneration and Housing at Brent Council. - Credit: Archant

Landlords operating in Brent could be fined up to £20,000 if they fail to apply for property licences following the approval of a new scheme this week.

Brent Council have given the green light to the Additional and Selective Licensing scheme as part of a crack down on rogue landlords.

It also aims to deal with high levels of anti-social behaviour linked to private rented properties in some areas.

It will be a legal requirement for most rental properties in Brent to be licensed from January.

There is an estimated 20,000 licensable properties in Brent and the scheme includes checks on whether landlords have criminal convictions, that they maintain their rented properties to minimum standards and that there is a complaints procedure for tenants.

The five-year licences will cost from £340 per property.

Any landlords that the council finds running an unlicensed property will pay an extra £300 levy on top of the licence fee and could also be prosecuted and fined up to £20,000.

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Cllr Margaret McLennan, Brent Council’s lead member for housing, said: “Licensing private sector landlords will help drive up standards in the private sector and is part of our aim to create more good, affordable housing for local people and a thriving economy.

“We want to work with good landlords and drive out the minority of bad landlords.

“Reputable landlords will benefit from the changes as having a license will show tenants and prospective tenants that their properties are of a good standard.”

Roger Harding, from housing charity Shelter, welcomes the scheme.

He said: “We hear from people every day who say their health has been affected by rogue landlords failing to carry out repairs, and yet we found that one in nine renters in London have avoided asking their landlord to improve conditions for fear of being evicted.

“No family should have to live in a home where their health and well-being is at risk so it’s good to see Brent is working towards a better private rental market for its residents.”

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