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TODAY'S OTHER NEWS

Council ‘pressing the government’ to roll out selective licensing scheme

Borough wide selective licensing could soon be coming to Brent if the the local council gets its way.

Brent Council wants the government to allow it to implement a borough wide selective licensing scheme in order to clampdown on rogue landlords operating in the north west London area.

The move, which would extend licensing to many more private rented homes, would involve licensing thousands of properties and would be designed to ensure that all private rented accommodation is safe, good quality and well run.

The claim was made yesterday by Cllr Harbi Farah, cabinet member for housing and welfare reform, following a dawn enforcement raid in Brent of an unlicensed bedsit found to be housing tenants in poor conditions.

A team of five enforcement officers discovered tenants living in 11 damp and unsafe rooms inside a house converted as makeshift bedsits, some of which had no windows.

Many of the rooms contained mould, damp and disrepairs due to cooking and toiletry facilities that had been crammed inside an inadequate space.

The unlicensed property in Preston Road had no working fire safety system, blocked fire escape routes and health hazards created by poor ventilation inside the rooms.

Tenancy agreements showed that some of the residents were paying £600 a month for the substandard accommodation, allowing the landlord potentially to rake in £6,600 a month from the 11 rooms.

The landlord, who arrived at the property while the inspection was ongoing, told enforcement officers that he was not aware that he needed a licence.

The raid was carried out as part of Brent Council's continued crackdown on rogue landlords and illegal subletters in the borough.

Farah commented: “This is unacceptable. Landlords cannot be allowed to exploit tenants and, here in Brent, we’re determined to crackdown on rogue operators.

“We’ve made great progress with our licensing scheme and are now pressing the government to let us roll it out even further across the borough as soon as possible.”

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