Measures to protect private renters from unscrupulous landlords to be debated
Scheme would require landlords to meet certain standards before letting a property
Proposals have been brought forward by Wandsworth Council’s Housing Committee to set up a review into the feasibility of introducing discretionary landlord licencing in an attempt to improve standards in the Private Renter Sector and crack down on rogue landlords.
The Private Rented Sector continues to grow significantly in London, providing a crucial role in meeting the housing requirements of residents. In Wandsworth, the Private Rented Sector constitutes nearly a third of all housing stock in the borough.
The standards of delivery within the Private Rented Sector can vary widely – while most are responsible and upstanding, there exists a rogue landlord element that deliver substandard, and sometimes overcrowded and dangerous dwellings which has a knock-on effect to the wider community in the form of anti-social behaviour, noise nuisance and other associated problems.
If these proposals are approved by the Executive Committee, the council will begin a review into assessing the need of additional and selective licencing within the Private Rented Sector.
In the committee report, it is noted that some of the potential benefits of such a scheme could include: improvement in the condition and quality of properties in the Private Rented Sector; the prevention of absentee or unfit landlords; increased responsibility required of landlords in the management of behaviour of their tenants; and, increased support for tenants.
Similar schemes have been adopted by other local authorities but have sometimes been criticised by opponents who say they drive up the cost of renting as licensing fees are passed on to tenants.
Councillor Aydin Dikerdem, Cabinet Member for Housing, said, “As a council, we have a commitment to all of our residents to ensure that they are in safe, secure and well-managed homes. That is why we are looking to increase support for tenants by recommending this review into discretionary licences in the Private Rented Sector.”
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October 7, 2022