A formal constitution is underway in Ealing Council in London, centering around a notion that all houses in multiple occupation within its borders should be licensed.
At present, only certain, larger HMOs in Ealing are licensed.
In addition, the council is suggesting licensing for all other privately rented homes in another five wards. These have been selected due to their large numbers of privately rented homes in substandard condition. What’s more, these areas, according to the council, have, ‘significant problems with anti-social behaviour.’
A twelve-week public consultation process started last week and ends on the 3rd April. It is believed that these suggestions combine to mean 20,000 properties will need licensing.
One of the largest boroughs in London, Ealing has more than 137,000 homes, of which 36,000 are privately rented from landlords. Census statistics for 2011 increased that private renting rose by 70% in the last decade.
Under the new proposals, which are similar to those proposed by many other Labour-controlled councils, a licensed landlord would be permitted to comply with a number of conditions. These relate to the management and condition of the property, which include gas, electrical and fire safety.
Consultation on 20,000 new homes to let in Ealing begins
As part of the changes, a written tenancy agreement would be required and anti-social behavior would not be put up with at any cost.
A council spokesman said, ‘all our residents deserve decent, safe homes to live in and we are determined to raise standards in the borough’s private rented sector to help us achieve this.’
‘Underlying the proposals to expand the private rental licensing scheme in Ealing is the serious issue of poorly managed properties which pave the way for sub-standard living conditions and anti-social behavior. Our proposals will give the opportunity to drive up standards and robustly tackle unscrupulous landlords,’ the spokesman added.