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A selective landlord-licensing scheme was introduced by Redbridge council in December 2016, with the aim of raising standards and improving overall management of property in the private rental sector. The scheme was initially implemented in 2 Redbridge wards: Valentines and Clementswood. Prior to this, views and evidence were gathered over twelve weeks during which 900 responses were generated.

Redbridge Council have stated that their aim is to prevent residents being affected by antisocial behaviour and improve standards of accommodation with the selective licensing scheme. The scheme applies to every property that is privately rented and that a compulsory HMO does not already cover or that is not subject to any other additional licensing scheme.

How much will a licence cost?

A 5 year licence will cost landlords £500 for each property they are renting out. Although a 50% discount was initially offered for an early application, it is unknown whether this will be offered for the new scheme.

Councillor Farah Hussain, a cabinet member on Redbridge Council for Housing, speaking to London Property Licencing, answered questions on the scheme:

Why is the licensing scheme being introduced?

“It is hoped it will raise standards of housing in areas of the Borough where a lot of accommodation is privately rented.

Is there a big problem in this respect?

Many private landlords will offer good, well-managed accommodation but sadly, some don’t. In these cases properties can be of a poorer standard and that will have a detrimental impact on their tenants, neighbours of the property concerned and the wider community.

What will the result of the selective licensing be?

Selective licensing is aimed at ensuring that private tenants are able to live in housing that is managed well and that is safe.”

A 2nd licensing scheme is now being considered

Redbridge Council now propose asking permission from the government to be allowed to introduce a 2nd selective licensing scheme to extend the scheme to another 12 wards:

  • Aldborough
  • Mayfield
  • Roding
  • Goodmayes
  • Loxford
  • Newbury
  • Seven Kings
  • Snaresbrook
  • Chadwell
  • Churchend
  • Cranbrook
  • Fairlop

When both of these schemes are fully implemented, about 79% of the entire borough will be covered by these two selective licensing schemes.

What happens if a licence is not obtained?

Not obtaining a licence may result in a prosecution and might also result in a heavy fine.

To qualify for a licence, a landlord will have to satisfy certain criteria and comply with strict conditions such as:

  • A gas safety certificate,
  • There are working smoke alarms
  • Safety of all electrical appliances.
  • Ensuring properties are of a good standard
  • Resolution of any anti-social behaviour.

Landlords will also be responsible for telling tenants about storage regulations and procedures for the disposal of rubbish.

This is a measure that a lot of people will feel is long overdue, and that will bring a welcome ‘levelling of the playing field’ for tenants renting in the private sector. The result of the extra cost to landlords, at this point, is not as clear.

If you would like to discuss this further, please contact Lint Group by calling our 020 8554 9999 or e-mail enquiries@lintgroup.com