New licensing scheme introduced for Tower Hamlets landlords
A new landlord licensing scheme came into force in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on 1 October 2016.
The decision to introduce a selective licensing scheme was approved by the Council’s Cabinet Meeting on 2 February 2016 (read here). The Council say they are implementing the new scheme in order to tackle significant and persistent problems with anti-social behaviour associated with private rented homes.
The new scheme will impact on all landlords and letting agents that rent out properties in the three council wards of Weavers, Whitechaple and Spitalfields & Banglatown in the west of the borough.
To make matters slightly more complicated, the scheme is based on the ward boundaries as they existed pre-22 May 2014, meaning landlords need to take extra care when seeing if the scheme applies to them.
The licensing scheme is expected to cover about 5,900 private rented homes and will last for five years. The new selective licensing scheme will extend licensing to almost every private rented property within the scheme boundary. There are very few statutory exemptions.
Anyone who fails to obtain a licence could face prosecution and a hefty fine together with a range of other sanctions.
Licence application fees have been set at between £520 and £660 per property, with most licences issued for five years.
Unfortunately, there is no mention of any discount for accredited landlords and no early-bird discount for landlords who choose to apply at the earliest opportunity. This is in contrast to Ealing Council who are currently offering a 25% discount to everyone who applies in the first three months.
To find out more about property licensing in Tower Hamlets, visit www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/tower-hamlets. Landlords and letting agents seeking independent advice and support can contact London Property Licensing to discuss your requirements.