The first of six training sessions aimed at teaching private landlords in the borough the rules and responsibilities when it comes to renting properties, has been held at Barking Town Hall.
Around 20 landlords attended the one-day event, which took place on Tuesday 24 January, to hear about everything from legal expectations and how to set up a tenancy, to repair and maintenance, safety certifications, and the laws around houses in multiple occupations – commonly referred to as HMOs.
The course, run by the London Landlords Accreditation Scheme, which launched in 2004 as a way of promoting good practice in the private rented sector across the capital, is available to any current or prospective private landlord.
In September 2019, Barking and Dagenham Council became the first in the country to obtain a borough-wide licensing scheme, which requires all landlords to have a licence to privately rent properties. The cost for new applicants is £900.
Councillor Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member for Enforcement & Community Safety, said: “The privately rented sector has an important role to place in our borough, but everyone deserves a decent and safe home, which is why we have the licensing scheme in the first place.
“We want to root out rogue landlords and make sure those who are putting profit ahead of people are pulled up on their behaviour.
By hosting these training days, we’re inviting landlords new and old, to come and learn the latest rules and responsibilities expected of being a good owner. It’s a short, but insightful day and it will outline a landlords ambition to be recognised as a responsible individual.”
Figures suggest around a quarter of all housing in the borough is privately rented with more than 14,000 private landlord licences currently issued by the council.
Further sessions in Barking and Dagenham are planned for March, May, July, September, and November, although more dates are available across London.