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Council says: “We’re very clear - we’re on the side of tenants”

A council says it’s “on the side of tenants” against landlords.

The London borough of Tower Hamlets has renewed its Selective Licensing Scheme for an additional five years, and will now run until October 2026.

The decision was approved by the council after a consultation and survey process last year and now Councillor Eve McQuillan, responsible for the authority’s planning and social inclusion, makes it clear that the licensing is not for the benefit of landlords.


She says: “Too many landlords in the borough still fail in their obligations to their tenants. Landlord licensing has been a game changer for us to take action against rogue landlords so I’m really pleased we’ve extended the Selective Licensing Scheme. 

“We’re very clear that we’re on the side of tenants and want to see big reforms in the private rented sector to reset the balance of power between landlords and renters.”

The current Selective Licensing Scheme has been in operation in parts of the borough since October 2016 and has put a legal duty on landlords and agents responsible for the privately rented properties to apply for a licence. 

The council says: “Since its launch, the scheme has allowed for the effective management of rented properties to prevent and deal with anti-social behaviour originating from the private rented sector and has made overall improvements to property conditions across these neighbourhoods.

“Tower Hamlets will now focus on enforcing several areas to ensure the standards of the scheme are upheld. This includes issuing fines to landlords or agents who fail to license their properties; effective management of rent properties to prevent anti-social behaviour and taking action against landlords or agents who fail to maintain their properties to a good standard.”


John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets, adds: “The extension of the Selective Licensing Scheme ensures we can continue to protect tenants and drive up the quality of private rented accommodation.  We are using the powers at our disposal to protect renters and want government to let us do even more so we can extend the scheme borough wide. We will continue to stick up for the rights of renters and keep lobbying the government on this.”

To date, this council has recovered £320,000 in rent repayment orders for tenants where landlords have not licensed their properties across the borough.

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  • icon

    The Council is on the side of the tenants - whether they are in the right or not!
    Ask LLs with non-paying tenants, unable to evict because of the ban on evictions, who they think has all the power!
    For a PRS to work e need all sectors to work together; Councils declaring all out war on LLs is not helpful.

  • icon

    One has to remember as Councils they do not consider what is right and fair, instead simply go to rip off LLs, in every which way possible. This all arises from the failings of Central Govt. to control and manage some rogue Councils and its employees and their combined failure to provide adequate suitable accommodation, and allow social landlords to provide sub-standard accommodation. They apply the failure of a few bad LLs to the many good LLs. Similarly what if all LLs said all Councils are crap, (which is more likely to be true than the Councils perception of LLs). Also the Councils are so dim that they do not understand that "good things no cheap >> cheap things no good".

  • icon

    Another left-wing council cut-off from reality.

  • icon

    Selective Licensing is all about making it easier for the council to attain the equity out of the working class man's effort in trying to better himself & his family using BTL. They want the money your money. It will be to the cost of the landlord and his tenants. The tenant ultimately will be paying the high price of these socialist policies being pushed. Landlords will sell up. The landlords that continue to exist will insure themselves by charging higher rents & its because they have to. Other investors will see the high rents attained and this will continue to drive the asset price up. You carry on Tower Hamlets possibly one of the most corrupt organisations in the UK

  • PossessionFriendUK PossessionFriend

    ALL Councils really need for their own AND Tenants sake, to be on the side of the vast majority of Good landlords.
    Where else are Tenants going to live !
    There just isn't enough B&B's and Portacabins !
    Good Landlords have no problem with the Local Authority taking issue with outrageous and dangerous housing, but they don't need Selective Licensing, aka All Good landlords to fund them to do this.
    Licensing is a Tax on Landlords to fund Local Authorities to do the work they were once paid to do by Government.

  • icon

    I wouldn't buy an investment property in Tower Hamlets at any price.


    You are absolutely right.

  • icon

    Tower Hamlets is like a third world dump. Keep harassing landlords, no wonder they are one of the poorest councils. Left wing council protecting tenants (regardless if they are right or wrong) and squeezing landlords for money.

  • Theodor Cable

    Given that, no Council will EVER get me allowing their tenats the opportunity to live in my properties.....

    Not ever, no matter how much they beg.....

    Go swing all councils.


    You can't even spell...

    Theodor Cable

    Mr. Smith, or should it be Smythe?

    And just what has it got to do with my spelling rather than the statement of fact, which it is?

  • Kristjan Byfield

    Tower Hamlets- the Freeholder & Block Manager for a flat (with a license) where they have so far been unable to resolve a roof leak for nearly 20 months! Staggering incompetence and neglect- enforcing Landlords. Millions generated, months of backlogged paperwork, virtually non-existant pro-active investigation & enforcement against the real rogue landlords. Utter disgrace.

  • icon

    That’s great news very fair & impartial not, could we ask for anymore support for the Council ?,

  • icon

    I love reading all the salty comments from the grubby greedy landlords.


    The grubby, greedy LLs who put roofs over tenants heads with their own hard earned money! Where would tenants live without us?
    Do you feel the same way about supermarkets - making money from feeding people? Or utility companies - making money from energy? No-one does it for free- why should they?!

  • icon

    The council are on the side that effects their finances the least. That's life, but it's a still akin to looking no further than the end of your nose. They will end up reaping what they sow.

  • James B

    Of course they are on the side of tenants ... self serving parasites, it’s all about the votes
    If there were more landlords than tenants they would take a battering

  • icon

    It's all well and good improving standards if properties in the area are of poor standard but we bought a rental property in Feb that's in a selective license area and applied for a license fully expecting someone to arrange a visit to check everything was in order but they just sent the license through with no checks so it's clearly just for show

  • icon

    Whenever I read things like this I just feel like selling up, even though I have lovely tenants who tell me I'm a good landlord and my properties are well maintained. When you do your best and still get bias and prejudice you just want to throw in the towel and walk away. Its not surprising there is a shortage of rental property.


    And these idiot councils forget that the power is in your hands, not theirs, for now.
    What will we do when the inevitable rent caps come in?

  • Theodor Cable

    Add extra charges that are not rent related.
    And if they don't like it then they don't get the rental!!!

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