A council says it’s “on the side of tenants” against landlords.The London borough of Tower Hamlets has renewed its Selective Licensing Scheme for an additional five years, and will now run until October 2026.The decision was approved by the council after a consultation and survey process last year and now Councillor Eve McQuillan, responsible for the authority’s planning and social inclusion, makes it clear that the licensing is not for the benefit of landlords.
She says: “Too many landlords in the borough still fail in their obligations to their tenants. Landlord licensing has been a game changer for us to take action against rogue landlords so I’m really pleased we’ve extended the Selective Licensing Scheme.“We’re very clear that we’re on the side of tenants and want to see big reforms in the private rented sector to reset the balance of power between landlords and renters.”The current Selective Licensing Scheme has been in operation in parts of the borough since October 2016 and has put a legal duty on landlords and agents responsible for the privately rented properties to apply for a licence.The council says: “Since its launch, the scheme has allowed for the effective management of rented properties to prevent and deal with anti-social behaviour originating from the private rented sector and has made overall improvements to property conditions across these neighbourhoods.
“Tower Hamlets will now focus on enforcing several areas to ensure the standards of the scheme are upheld. This includes issuing fines to landlords or agents who fail to license their properties; effective management of rent properties to prevent anti-social behaviour and taking action against landlords or agents who fail to maintain their properties to a good standard.”
John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, adds: “The extension of the Selective Licensing Scheme ensures we can continue to protect tenants and drive up the quality of private rented accommodation. We are using the powers at our disposal to protect renters and want government to let us do even more so we can extend the scheme borough wide. We will continue to stick up for the rights of renters and keep lobbying the government on this.”
To date, this council has recovered £320,000 in rent repayment orders for tenants where landlords have not licensed their properties across the borough.