London Borough of Brent has approved the renewal and extension of borough-wide additional licensing for Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) for a further five years, as part of a wider effort to drive up housing standards in the local private rented sector.
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 be introduced 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.
Brent Council is 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, as well as Northwick Park, Preston, Toyngton, Alperton and Sudbury.
Cllr Eleanor Southwood, cabinet member for housing and welfare reform, commented: “The safety of the third of 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”.
“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.”