Government approves borough wide Property Licensing Scheme to protect renters
Barking and Dagenham Council’s fight to crack down on rogue landlords and protect tenants has been given a huge boost as the Government has agreed a five year Property Licensing Scheme.
The borough wide scheme, which is the only one that has been approved by the Government, means that every privately rented property in Barking and Dagenham will need to be licensed and comply with strict conditions to ensure each property is safe and properly managed.
The council currently has a Private Rented Property and additional HMO Licensing Scheme which will end on 31 August 2019. It will be replaced by the borough wide, five year Property Licensing Scheme which will start on 1 September 2019.
It is fantastic news that the Government has approved our new Property Licensing Scheme for five years, right across the borough – the first of this kind to be given government approval anywhere.
The new scheme means approximately 20,000 households in the borough who rely on the initiative to protect them from rogue landlords in the private rental sector will be able to rent, knowing the property has satisfied conditions, meaning it is safe to live in.
Over the last five years, private rented homes have been the fastest growing housing provision in the borough. They make up 27 per cent of the borough’s housing and provide accommodation to an increasing number of vulnerable individuals and families.
Since their introduction five years ago, the current licensing schemes have helped to ensure that homes are safe and in good condition for renters. They have also helped to reduce antisocial behaviour and enabled the council to stamp out criminal activity among rogue landlords.
The schemes have helped the council to instigate 70 prosecutions, and serve 570 enforcement notices requiring properties to be made safe. We have also undertaken over 100 operations working in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade to ensure properties are regulated and safe.
The scheme will help us to continue to weed out rogue landlords who put tenants at risk, and to crack down on crime, antisocial behaviour and overcrowding.
Councillor Margaret Mullane, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, said: “It is fantastic news that the Government has approved our new Property Licensing Scheme for five years, right across the borough – the first of this kind to be given government approval anywhere.
“It will be a key weapon in our continuing fight to improve standards in the private rented sector. We are absolutely determined to protect our tenants, making sure they live in safe homes that are in good condition and well managed.
“The scheme will help us to continue to weed out rogue landlords who put tenants at risk, and to crack down on crime, antisocial behaviour and overcrowding. We will also ensure that landlords deal with problems including rubbish in front gardens and noise which are often linked with over-crowded accommodation.
“Everyone deserves a decent and safe home and we will continue to drive up standards in Barking and Dagenham to protect our tenants, ensuring that no one is left behind - and we will come down hard on landlords who feel they can put profit before people.”
Further information on the new Property Licensing Scheme will be published on the council’s website.