News

Kensington and Chelsea additional landlord licensing scheme starts today

Thursday, June 1, 2023 - Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

A new additional licensing scheme for landlords and agents who operate house share-style properties is being introduced today (1 June 2023). The intention of the scheme is to help make homes safer for private tenants in Kensington and Chelsea.

Landlords of house and flat shares with three or more occupiers will need to apply for the new licence. The scheme also applies to properties split into bedsits and owner-occupied properties with three or more lodgers.

The Council is introducing the new additional licensing scheme to help drive up housing standards and enforce against criminal landlords operating houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). These are typically house or flat shares, bedsits and converted buildings with non-self-contained flats.

HMOs have some of the poorest housing conditions of any type of home. Council analysis shows that 2,372 HMOs where amenities are shared in Kensington and Chelsea are predicted to have serious hazards, whilst many are poorly managed and are associated with anti-social behaviour.

Under the mandatory HMO licensing scheme, the Council could only license around 185 properties. The new additional licensing scheme provides a new layer of protection for tenants, identifying licensed and responsible landlords. These proposals are part of Kensington and Chelsea’s commitment to make homes safer and make the borough a fairer place to live for everyone.

Cllr Cem Kemahli, lead member for planning, place and environment said:

Everyone deserves a safe home and we welcome landlords providing good places to live. This new licensing scheme will drive up housing standards and give us more information so we can enforce against the few landlords who persistently provide poorly managed housing to their tenants.

This is about making access to safe homes fairer for people who live in the borough. This should also be notice to bad landlords that we won’t tolerate poor quality housing in our borough.

The Council has introduced a simple online application system covering both mandatory HMO and additional licensing. It is designed to reduce paperwork and make the licence application and compliance process as simple as possible. Licence applications can be submitted via the Council’s website.

Our free guide containing more information about property licensing and HMO planning restrictions in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea is available here.

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