A further two London councils have indicated that they are to introduce additional licensing schemes in the coming weeks.
Redbridge council held discussions about their latest proposals just last night, while Camden is poised to propose a borough-wide scheme that would apply to all properties shared by three of more people.
The changes proposed by Camden comes after a thorough investigation. Environmental health officers visited a total of 391 houses in multiple occupation (HMO’s) and alarmingly, branded 19% as poor or very poor. Additionally, the visited 28 flats situated above shops, and found that 4 had poor conditions.
As part of their 22-week consultation scheme, the council received 1,4000 responses to its online survey. However, of the 171 landlords who replied, 71% were found to be opposed to the licensing proposals.
Despite Camden Council hosting the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme, it argues that having accreditation does not help with poor standards in properties owned by landlords that are not members.
Two more councils to bring in licensing schemes
Richard Tacagni, managing director of consultancy firm London Property Licensing, commented that, ‘this move by Camden Council will bring another 8,000 HMO’s within the remit of property licensing in what is becoming an increasingly complex regulatory landscape.’
He continued by saying that, ‘by December 2015, we will have almost 20 separate property licensing schemes operating in London, each with different terms and conditions-a situation that is being replicated in various parts of the country.’ Tacagni also warned that, ‘unsafe and badly managed properties will only be tackled by enforcement action and councils need to step up to the mark and make effective use of their existing enforcement powers.’