Over 300 landlords have submitted applications since the additional HMO licensing scheme was launched in Kensington and Chelsea

Thursday, August 24th, 2023 - Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea

More than 300 landlords have applied for a new licence brought in this summer for house share-style properties to help make homes safer for private tenants in Kensington and Chelsea.

The Council introduced the new additional licensing scheme on 1 June 2023 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.

Council research shows there are approximately 2,400 privately rented properties that have the most serious hazards, whilst many are poorly managed and are associated with anti-social behaviour.

Since the scheme came in two months ago, 325 new licence applications have been received.

Under previous mandatory licensing rules, the council was only able only license around 185 properties. The new licence offers 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, Kensington & Chelsea’s 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 is already identifying responsible landlords. This is going to make it easier for our officers to identify the properties where landlords persistently provide poorly managed housing to their tenants and take enforcement action.

I’m grateful to those who have been proactive in getting the new licence so quickly. This is about making housing safer and fairer. Bad landlords should take this as their notice that we won’t tolerate poor quality housing in our borough.

The Council is using the same licence application system that already exists for its mandatory licensing scheme, which is already in place for HMOs with five or more occupants.

The simple online form is designed to reduce make paperwork and make the licence application and compliance as simple as possible. Once an application is made the team works with the landlord and their tenants to arrange an inspection of the property. They then issue a draft licence for the landlord to review and agree before issuing a completed licence. So far 90 draft licences and 46 final licences have been issued.

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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