Brent Council receives over 5,000 property licence applications
Brent Council has received over 5,000 applications from landlords seeking to have their Brent private rented properties licensed.
On 1 January 2015, Brent Council introduced a borough-wide additional licensing scheme that requires all Houses in Multiple Occupation to be licensed. They also introduced a selective licensing scheme that extends licensing to all private rented properties in the council wards of Harlesden, Wembley Central and Willesden Green.
To date, around 4,000 licence applications have been approved and 1,000 applications are currently being processed. The council hopes that by rolling out property licensing, they can drive up standards in the private rental sector and better protect tenants from poor quality rented accommodation.
Landlords caught without the required property licence will have to pay an extra £300 finders’ fee on top of the standard application fee. Landlords also risk being prosecuted in the Magistrates Court where they could face an unlimited fine.
Prosecutions have already taken place for failure to licence, as previously reported by London Property Licensing. Mr Douglas Gerard-Reynolds has been fined twice in respect of his unlicensed properties on Lechmere Road and Anson Road and ordered to pay over £10,000 in total (read here).
Councillor Margaret McLennan, Lead Member for Housing and Development at Brent Council said: “It is fantastic to reach this milestone of 5,000 applications but there are still many more rental properties in Brent that need a licence.
“We want to work with the good landlords to drive out the minority of bad ones and so I thank all of those landlords who have already shown their co-operation and submitted their applications to us.
“If you live next to a House in Multiple Occupation or are a tenant in one which you think is unlicensed, please do get in contact with the council’s Private Housing Licensing Team and help us increase the number of licensed properties in Brent.“
Whilst the milestone of 5,000 applications marks an important step forward, it does suggest about 70% of landlords have not yet applied for a licence. In January 2015, Brent Council told London Property Licensing that they expected to receive about 14,000 additional licence applications and 3,000 selective licence applications. Brent Council face an immense task in tracking down the remaining 10,000+ unlicensed properties.
For further information on property licensing requirements in Brent, visit www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/brent.