Camden Council has approved the renewal of landlord licensing in the borough, extending the licensing to most Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs), including house and flat shares, student homes, bedsits and some buildings converted into flats.
The council’s additional licensing scheme, which was originally introduced on 8 December 2015, will renew on 8 December 2020, which is the date the scheme was supposed to end.
The Council consulted on the scheme's renewal with people living and working in Camden and its neighbouring boroughs over a 12-week period.
More than 1,000 people responded to the consultation, with 64% of respondents backing the renewal of the scheme, including 33% of landlords and managing or letting agents and 80% of private tenants.
Since the scheme’s introduction in 2015, over 3,400 Camden HMOs have been inspected and licensed resulting in an estimated 15,000 improvements made by landlords.
But the council estimates that almost half of the 8,000 HMO properties in Camden remain unlicensed, despite high levels of enforcement action.
Cllr Meric Apak, cabinet member for Better Homes at Camden Council, commented: “I would like to thank everyone who took part in our consultation for this scheme – seeing a majority of respondents back the renewal shows the positive impact the scheme is having on Camden’s private rented sector.
"Around a third of Camden residents rent from private landlords and they deserve to live in properly regulated, secure and safe homes.
“Most landlords are decent law-abiding people, however we know that there are rogue landlords out there that continue to operate illegally, renting properties that are overcrowded and have a number of safety issues.
“The renewal of the additional licensing scheme for HMOs for a further five years will mean that we can continue to improve living standards for people who rent privately in Camden and tackle landlords who are exploiting tenants.
“The renewal comes at a time where we are seeing an even greater need to continue with this scheme, as the current pandemic has highlighted how important it is for all of us to have a safe and comfortable home.”