Plans to introduce a new licensing scheme for privately rented homes in Barking and Dagenham has been approved by the government.
Under the terms of the new borough wide five-year Property Licensing Scheme, which is expected to cover around 20,000 privately rented homes, every privately rented property in Barking and Dagenham will need to be licensed and comply with strict conditions to ensure each property is safe and properly managed.
The council currently has a Private Rented Property and additional HMO Licensing Scheme which will end on 31 August 2019. It will be replaced by the new scheme which will start on 1 September 2019.
Private rented homes currently make up 27% of the borough’s housing.
The current licensing schemes has helped the council to instigate 70 prosecutions and serve 570 enforcement notices requiring properties to be made safe.
Cllr Margaret Mullane, cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, commented: “It is fantastic news that the Government has approved our new Property Licensing Scheme for five years, right across the borough – the first of this kind to be given government approval anywhere.
“It will be a key weapon in our continuing fight to improve standards in the private rented sector. We are absolutely determined to protect our tenants, making sure they live in safe homes that are in good condition and well managed.
“The scheme will help us to continue to weed out rogue landlords who put tenants at risk, and to crack down on crime, antisocial behaviour and overcrowding. We will also ensure that landlords deal with problems including rubbish in front gardens and noise which are often linked with over-crowded accommodation.
“Everyone deserves a decent and safe home and we will continue to drive up standards in Barking and Dagenham to protect our tenants, ensuring that no one is left behind - and we will come down hard on landlords who feel they can put profit before people.”