Landlords have only until February 11 to respond to the licensing proposals of the London council with the largest private rental sector in England.
The City of Westminster has some 52,700 rental properties constituting 43 per cent of its total housing stock.
With a large proportion of these properties marked as HMOs, the council has published a proposed licensing scheme to - in its words - “ensure that Westminster has a safe, well-managed, and professional-run private rented sector.”
These proposals, now open to formal consultation, were backed by respondents to an earlier consultation in autumn 2020, with almost 70 per cent in agreement.
The council is now asking for feedback and input on the proposed additional policy before a decision is made on whether to implement.
The proposed Additional Licensing Scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupancy will focus on Westminster’s 9,000-plus HMOs including flat shares, bedsits, and buildings converted into flats.
Under current national laws, the council can only license 300 of the estimated 9,000 HMOs but the new proposed scheme will increase this number significantly “and drastically improve the local authority’s ability to enforce essential housing standards and protect residents” it says.
As is commonly the case with licensing proposals, the council claims they will drive up housing standards, establish a common standard and drastically increase interventions in property affected by poor tenancy management, the need for repairs, fire safety hazard, and anti-social behaviour,
You can see the proposals here.