A local authority has been criticised over plans to introduce a selective licensing scheme, which will force landlords or their agents to inspect rental properties every month.
Harrow Council is launching the scheme in its Edgware ward on 1st November 2015 at a cost of up to £550, hoping to tackle anti-social behaviour.
The Council says that its pilot scheme could be rolled out to Wealdstone and South Harrow.
In addition to monthly inspections, landlords must clear litter from outside their rental properties. Furthermore, landlords and tenants will be required to allow Harrow Council staff to make checks with just 24 hours’ notice.
The National Landlords Association (NLA) warns that the rules will cause tenants to feel harassed in their homes and says that the conditions are unacceptable.
The NLA’s Local Authority Policy Officer, Gavin Dick, says: “The Council has the powers it needs to deal with anti-social behaviour in the borough, but instead of allocating funding for enforcement, they’ve passed the buck by putting the responsibility onto landlords.
“While we agreed that private rented properties must be kept up to standard, the Council’s conditions will essentially result in the harassment of tenants in their own homes.
“Monthly checks are simply unnecessary and could be considered as breaking a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment.
“The Council has displayed an incredible lack of understanding of how private housing works. It’s not for the landlord to decide who can have access to their tenant’s home and when.
“Neither is it their responsibility to remove household waste, domestic or otherwise.”1