A Labour council in London has announced plans to expand its crackdown on what it calls “shoddy landlords.”
Southwark council says the majority of landlords in the borough are - in its words - “compliant and law abiding” but it says some neglect their businesses.
“Most of these people have good intentions, but lack essential knowledge of their full responsibilities. However, some are wilfully neglectful and criminal rouge landlords. The council is working to tackle both groups” says the authority in a statement released over the weekend.
Southwark’s private rented sector makes up about a third of all housing in the borough - yet it was under nine per cent in the 2011 census results.
The council admits its existing mandatory licensing scheme places a legal responsibility on landlords who must apply for a license and comply with conditions that help to tackle issues such as overcrowding, disrepair and fire safety.
However, it wants a further borough-wide additional licensing scheme will soon extend this scheme, starting in March 2022 and applying to all HMOs in the borough with three or more tenants.
In addition to this, landlords who rent properties other than HMOs, in parts of the borough, will need to apply for a license under a new selective licensing scheme beginning on March 1.
The council statement goes on to say it is “working to recognise and reward professional, responsible landlords and it hopes to support and educate inexperienced, reluctant or accidental landlords.”
A council spokesman says: “Our previous licensing schemes have made significant progress in improving the private rented sector in Southwark. We hope that these new proposals will build on this success and deliver large-scale improvements that are needed in the borough’s private rented sector.
“We also hope to continue to build on our partnership work with good landlords. We want to support those landlords who want to manage their homes more effectively and enable more targeted and effective action against rogue landlords.”
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