Croydon is the latest London borough to announce that they are to consult on the introduction of licensing the private rental stock within its Borough. Croydon’s stated objective is to “secure a consistent level of responsible property management among all private landlords” in the belief that it will address the negative issues which they have identified to be blighting the sector. Their proposal is to introduce a borough-wide licensing scheme that involves obtaining a specific licence in order to rent a property in the local area. Croydon, along with Waltham Forest and Enfield, will be one of the very few boroughs in London, to begin the early stages of introducing the new law.
The Council argued that complaints regarding private rented accommodation have doubled in the last four years and that this justifies a blanket licensing requirement across the whole of the borough.
Newham Council, the first London Borough to introduce the requirement, hail the licensing requirement as a success that has impacted significantly on the availability and quality of housing for residents in the Borough. Newham charge £500 for a new licence which lasts for five years, and has indicated that a similar charge will apply upon renewal. Renting out a property without a licence will render the landlord liable for a £20,000 fine.
Croydon’s own charges remain subject to consultation, as do the tests that a landlord will be required to “pass” before being granted a licence.
Cabinet Members of Croydon Council will be asked to approve the measures on 30 June 2014.