Brent to strengthen case for successful landlord licensing scheme

27 February 2020

Work to ensure the safety of tenants and drive up housing standards in the private rented sector in the borough will continue, as Brent Council gathers more evidence to support its commitment to extending selective licensing in the borough.

In response to the Council's pre-Christmas application, Secretary of State, the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP, has indicated that, at this time, he is not minded to approve Brent's application to extend selective licensing in the wards of Willesden Green, Harlesden and Wembley Central.

The council had also hoped to extend the successful scheme to 10 new wards in the borough, following a positive response by residents to a consultation last year. However, the Government indicated that more evidence would be required before any approval could be secured.

Selective licensing has seen the council work in partnership with good landlords, while tackling rogue and criminal landlords, helping to drive up housing standards in the private rented sector for the significant and growing number of residents who rent privately.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Brent Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, said: "Naturally we're disappointed not to have gotten this done at the first attempt and frustrated at this setback in our aims to improve safety and drive up housing standards for the borough's private tenants. If the Government need to see more evidence then that's exactly what we'll do. We know that licensing works and that it benefits everyone: tenants, landlords and neighbourhoods."

All privately rented properties in the wards of Dudden Hill, Kensal Green, Kilburn, Mapesbury and Queens Park are still required to be licensed, as well as any shared accommodation throughout the borough where there are three or more tenants living together who are not related - including those with a single tenancy.

Property licensing has enabled the council to work in partnership with good landlords by offering training and recognition programmes. More than 900 Brent landlords have successfully joined the London Landlord's Accreditation Scheme so far. The council also offers grants for renovating empty properties and organises one of the biggest council-run landlord forums in the country twice per year.

The council is currently working with the government to understand what additional evidence is required. This will inform its next steps. In the meantime, work to improve safety and quality for private tenants will continue.