Ealing Council in London is undergoing a formal consultation about a proposal that all houses in multiple occupation within its boundaries should be licensed.
At the moment only certain larger HMOs in Ealing are licensed.
The council is also proposing licensing for all other privately rented homes in five wards, selected because they have high numbers of privately rented homes in poor condition and because - according to the local council - “there are significant problems with anti-social behaviour.”
A 12-week public consultation process began last week and ends on April 3. It is believed that the proposals combine to mean 20,000 properties will require licensing.
Ealing is one of the largest boroughs in London with currently more than 137,000 homes, of which 36,000 are rented from private landlords. Census figures for 2011 showed that private renting increased by nearly 70% over 10 years from 2001.
Under the new proposals - very similar to those proposed by many other councils, mostly Labour-controlled - a licenced landlord would have to comply with several conditions relating to the management and condition of the property, including gas, electrical, fire safety and the facilities provided.
A written tenancy agreement would be required and anti-social behaviour by tenants would not be permitted.
“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 behaviour. Our proposals will give us the opportunity to drive up standards and robustly tackle unscrupulous landlords,” claimed a council spokesman.