Brent redoubles effort to drive up standards for private renters
15 October 2019
Additional licensing laws for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) are set to be extended in Brent for a further five years.
Brent Council agreed the move yesterday (14 Oct) in order to drive up housing standards in the private rented sector and protect vulnerable tenants from being exploited.
The decision followed a consultation that took place over the summer, which showed 80% of respondents in favour of renewing the landlord licensing laws.
The scheme is due to come into effect early next year with the licence fee remaining at £840 for each application. This means that all small privately rented properties in Brent with three or more people living in them, who are not all related, will need to be licensed.
The cabinet also agreed to seek government approval to designate four areas within Brent as selective licensing wards, which would require landlords to licence rental properties irrespective of their size. Selective licensing has already proven effective in driving up housing standards in Harlesden, Willesden Green and Wembley Central, as well as in the the wards of Dudden Hill, Kensal Green, Kilburn, Mapesbury and Queens Park, which were added to the scheme in 2018.
Brent’s Cabinet is now seeking to extend the scheme in these three wards, as well as create new selective licensing areas in:
- Queensbury, Fryent and Brondesbury Park
- Barnhill and Welsh Harp
- Northwick Park, Preston, Tokyngton, Alperton and Sudbury
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform, said: “The safety of the 1/3 Brent residents who rent privately is a priority for us. Landlord licensing enables us to work with landlords across the borough to drive up standards. The majority of landlords in Brent want to do the right thing and our landlord forums are a chance to share good practice.
“I’m delighted that 80% of people who responded to the consultation support renewing our borough-wide scheme for smaller houses of multiple occupation (HMOs). By doing this, and by seeking government approval to extend our selective scheme, we’ll be able to continue to support landlords and hold them to account for the quality of the homes they provide.”
A report presented to the Cabinet detailed problems caused by poorly managed HMOs, including anti-social behaviour.