New selective licensing scheme launched in Harrow
A new selective licensing scheme for private rented homes in Harrow Council’s Edgware ward comes into force today (7 December 2015).
The decision, made at Harrow Council’s Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 14 July 2015 (read here), extends licensing to the vast majority of private rented homes in Edgware ward, including those let out to a single person, couple or family.
The Council also recently consulted on proposals for a second selective licensing scheme in the council ward of Wealdstone, although that scheme has not yet been approved.
Harrow Council say that licensing will help to tackle a significant and persistent problem with anti-social behaviour associated with private rented homes.
Research by the council found that Edgware suffered from high levels of deliberate fires, above average rates for serious crime and ASB, high levels of fly-tipping and noise nuisance. They say that the scheme is in line with their corporate priorities of making a difference to residents, community, businesses and the vulnerable.
Landlords with properties in Edgware ward will need to pay a £550 application fee and pass a fit and proper person assessment in order to get a licence, although we understand there is a £75 discount for accredited landlords. Once issued, the licence will remain in force for five years
From today, private landlords in the Council’s Edgware ward will be unable to evict their tenants using a Section 21 notice of seeking possession unless a licence application has been submitted. So it is vital to get the process right.
Landlords failing to comply with the new requirements may also find themselves prosecuted by the council and subject to a hefty fine.
Commenting on the new scheme, Richard Tacagni, Managing Director at London Property Licensing said:
“With over a dozen property licensing schemes now operating across the capital, the London Property Licensing website provides the only comprehensive directory of licensing schemes to help landlords and letting agents comply with the law.
“To avoid falling foul of all the new requirements, landlords and agents can sign up to our regular free newsletter at www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/newsletter. Through our expert consultancy service, we can also assist with individual licensing queries“.