Government approves expanded property licensing scheme for Redbridge
On 31 May 2018, Redbridge Council announced they had been given approval to introduce an expanded selective licensing scheme covering a further 12 wards in the borough.
Redbridge Council already operates a borough wide additional licensing scheme and selective licensing in the council wards of Clementswood and Valentines.
The decision comes almost 18 months after the council’s cabinet approved plans to enlarge the selective licensing scheme (read here).
Following restrictions introduced in 2015 (read here), a local authority can only introduce schemes covering more than 20% of the borough if they obtain Secretary of State approval, which in turn caused this delay.
The scheme, which will come into force on 1 October 2018, means that all privately rented properties in 14 wards will now need to be licensed and comply with conditions to ensure the property is safe and well managed. They will also be responsible for ensuring that their tenants do not cause problems for neighbours.
The 12 wards within the new selective licensing contain an estimated 15,000 private rented properties and will extend the selective licensing scheme to about 80% of the borough. The additional wards covered by selective licensing will be: Goodmayes, Loxford, Snaresbrook, Roding, Newbury, Mayfield, Cranbrook, Seven Kings, Chadwell, Fairlop, Aldborough and Church End.
Redbridge Council say they have seen a marked increase in the number of requests for assistance from tenants because of the condition of their rented property, with many trying for months to get their landlord to carry out essential repairs.
Landlords in the identified wards will have to comply with licence conditions to ensure the property is safe and well managed.
Shelter UK, Ilford North and South MPs, Redbridge Citizens and Generation Rent joined forces with the council to support better regulation of the borough’s burgeoning private rented sector.
Cllr Jas Athwal, Leader of the Council said:
“This is a flagship policy and we are pleased that the government agrees that it should be extended across the borough. We are determined to crack down on rogue landlords and improve the housing conditions of often vulnerable people. Our existing scheme is already driving up standards in the private rented sector and this expansion will further improve the lives of thousands of our residents.“
Cllr Farah Hussain, Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness, Redbridge Council said:
“It’s great that we’ve been granted permission to expand to these additional wards. Residents will reap the benefits of this scheme which will ensure that all private rented accommodation in these areas is in good condition and well managed. Landlords will benefit by being able to clearly demonstrate to prospective tenants that they meet our required standards.
“We want to clamp down on those rogue landlords that take rent for dangerous accommodation and wash their hands of the problems some tenants cause to their neighbours. This scheme also adds some protection against eviction for tenants living in unlicensed homes and will help to prevent homelessness.“
It is understood the scheme designation may be based on old ward boundaries and we are waiting to hear how landlords and agents can check if their property is included within the new scheme boundary.
The application fee for the current selective licensing scheme is £500 with a 50% discount offered during the early bird application period. It is not yet known if the council will offer a similar discount for the new scheme, or when they will start to accept applications.
For more information about property licensing in the London Borough of Redbridge, you can rear our free guide here.
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