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Gove gives go-ahead to one of UK’s largest licensing schemes

Almost all landlords letting out properties in a London borough will soon be legally required to have a selective license.

It’s one of the country’s largest landlord licensing schemes, and required consent from the Housing Secretary, Michael Gove.

The government has now approved Brent council’s proposal to introduce borough-wide property licensing, except for the Wembley Park area. The council claims the aim is driving up living standards for renters and building on what it calls the council’s “positive relationships with private landlords.”

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The scheme is expected to go live in spring next year.

Councillor Promise Knight, Cabinet Member for Housing, Homelessness and Renters’ Security, says that the approval of the scheme is a major win for renters and landlords and the private housing sector as a whole. 

“We are delighted that our proposal has been approved. It will be one of the largest selective licensing schemes in London. It’s a major win for both renters and landlords. The scheme will massively improve the standard of living for private renters who make up half of all Brent residents. It will also give landlords and agents complete clarity on their responsibilities regarding property management and safety.

“At a time when housing is at a crisis point across London, the introduction of selective licensing across Brent, with the exception of Wembley Park, will offer renters the assurance of security and safety when it comes their home.”

“Brent will continue to work in partnership with good professional landlords but has a zero-tolerance approach towards rogue landlords. Any rogue landlords in Brent should be on notice that this expansion means that there will be nowhere in Brent for them to hide.”

In 2023, the council issued its first banning order against a landlord, preventing him from letting houses in England for five years. 

Brent has also licenced more HMOs than any other London borough and has one of the most proactive enforcement teams in London.

Wembley Park will be exempt from the licensing scheme as it is currently the only ward in the borough where the number of disrepairs in private rentals does not meet the threshold set by the government.

Further details on how to apply for a licence will be announced in the New Year.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    Brent Council - God help anyone trying to house a family with these thieves in charge

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    In the red ken days, they were called Bent Council, not entirely sure if anything’s changed

     
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    And so the knives keep being plunged into our backs, Et Tu Brute…. 🆘

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    They quote “ The scheme will massively improve the standard of living for private renters”. Well let’s see then. Let’s objectively assess in 18 months time and they can tell the world how it turned out!

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    What ever the truth, it will be a sunny 🌞 outcome.

     
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    • A JR
    • 07 December 2023 09:13 AM

    Put more bluntly, they will simply ‘fabricate a positive outcome’ regardless of the facts. Just yet more taxation for a nil return.

     
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    Time to get out of renting everywhere in London. They have the audacity to include landlords, as the scheme will be a 'major win for both landlords and tenants.' Paying huge license fees and asking tenants to report everything whilst tenants do not have to look after the property. No heating and opening windows, so causing dampnes and mould.

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    Starting from Brent, licensing will gradually be introduced in all the boroughs from next spring. That is just around the corner. This is another only money making pioy by these thieves.

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    Vibha,
    Don't get out of London, just choose the right option. I had been contacted by an agency that supplies emergency housing for councils offer me £2000 pcm guaranteed for the term of my choice in an area where rents are typically £1600-£1800 pcm. Just imagine how much the councils are paying these agents. Probably around £2500 pcm. This is not sustainable, something has to give. An en-suite room I started renting for £550 pcm is now rented at £1050 pcm.
    I am not adding any more but getting rid of ones that aren't worth the bother and keeping a few in my limited company. I can chose to expand if ever the options become more landlord Friendly.

     
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    Pat, do you not worry about getting the Council's people out of your properties one day? whether rented to an agency direct, or Council direct?

     
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    Yes I do worry Nick and hence why I didn't take them up on their offer. My point was more about the fact that these councils are desperate for homes, so they will have to wake up at some point or go bankrupt.

     
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    Legalised theft to feed bankrupt councils. Packaged as a scheme when it’s really a tax.

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    welcome to another rent rise for tenants, courtesy of MG!

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    I know, 😂 they just don’t care 🤔

     
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    All of mine are in Brent, we’ve had licencing since 2016. Not one bit of difference, none of my HMO’s were ever inspected, all complied anyway and the agents I use, comply fully with GSC, EPC, EICR and all the other legislation before they even take on a property. The £7k I pay every 5 years, is of course passed on to tenants residing in my fully compliant properties. That said, there are dodgy Agencies in Brent, it would have been prudent for all agencies to have a licence to let and manage with huge financial ramifications if there was non compliance, but as others have said, there would be nothing to shake on the money tree. Wembley Park also has the highest amount of social housing which a good proportion of them are in shoddy condition.

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    Nick, not to mention all the new build to rent blocks by Quintain that were built in the redevelopment around the stadium. Wouldnt want to upset them with licensing costs😉

     
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    Good. You've only got yourselves to blame. If you lot could successfully self regulate this wouldn't be happening, but you can't, so it is.

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    Well lots of tenants certainly can't manage themselves. I can see you living in a tenant with your bad attitude.

     
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    Except Its not "us lot", it's the rogues. They don't follow standards, rules and regulations and they don't bother to read up on current issues for their CPD. So you are insulting the wrong people.

     
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    You don’t know me, so how are you so certain I am a ‘ Rogue “ ? It’s a foolish comment which I would suggest you don’t make again.

     
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    Licensing is a money raising exercise - and landlords will pass the costs on to tenants.

    It is not a fair way of raising money - it is also an invasion of privacy and an example of intrusive, overreach by authorities.

    If being a landlord weren't becoming so burdensome and unfair, more landlords would carry on, but, as it is, an increasing number will sell - and this will make it much harder for tenants to find a good flat at a reasonable rent. Even now, it has become very difficult indeed for tenants to find somewhere to live.

    I recently let a nice, spacious flat at a very reasonable rent to a German chap. He has repaid the good deal by being an exemplary, very helpful tenant. He had been finding it impossible to get somewhere to live and thought it was because he was German.

     
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    James Stupid Turner,
    Brent Brought in Article 4 direction for HMOs and has overpaid by some £9 million to house people in Hotels - They have got themselves to blame
    Brent has never inspected my property yet happy to take the money for license. So who have they protected - No one
    I have enough evidence to sue Brent, why should I waste my time and effort to help dimwits like you. Keep supporting these trash and be homeless.

     
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    • A JR
    • 07 December 2023 12:13 PM

    The reality is that this is not about ‘ needed regulation ‘ it’s all about raising money to prop up failing councils. So you should expect fewer and fewer homes to rent as landlords decide to leave. Dumbo!

     
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    It's the excessive regulation, licensing and extra taxation that's causing the chaos ..... and you want more!
    The nasty criminals just don't care so will ignore all the above anyway.

     
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    25 years plus as a portfolio LL. My tenants stay between 4-12 years, some have moved from one of my properties to another. You’re in the wrong group here, go and vent your anger elsewhere.

     
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    Are you trolling? I have worked in the PRS for thirty years and the vast majority of small landlords are good landlords. Most are much better than large landlords including Councils or Housing Associations. Where there are problems in the PRS it's at the lower benefit end of the market and the Government is to blame. They are to blame because of their lazy policy of paying rent benefits on size of property instead of (as was previously in the past) rental value. Under its lazy scheme decent landlords who maintain their property and let to benefit claimants make less profit than slum landlords who neglect their properties. The slum landlord thereby can more easily expand their portfolio. The solution is easy and cheaper than requiring all properties to be licenced. There should be two rates of rent benefit. A basic rate and a higher rate that is only applied to properties that have applied/received a licence. Over a period of time, the difference between the two rates could be expanded to the extent that its not worthwhile to be a slum landlord. In London there are ex council flats next to million pound apartments. Requiring million pound rental properties to be licenced is stupid bureaucratic waste of money.
    Of course, all landlords should still have a responsibility for gas and electric checks.

     
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    My friend (now ex-landlord) owned a couple of flats. The council's communal corridors lighting was tapped into his flats. He had massive bills. Lots of backwards and forth. They do an investigation and surprise surprise it's not their fault. Also extortinate roof replacement costs etc. all they do is charge, charge and charge some more and not do anything in return. Just waste it.

  • Zen Landlord

    Licencing scams are one of the ways councils are raising funds so they can escape bankruptcy for a little longer. Unfortunately it comes at a massive cost to poor vulnerable tenants.

    Councils and the government have no morals they're penalising vulnerable families at every turn. When times get hard it's always the poorest in society that get fleeced.

    Costs go up for landlords and rents get even higher or more families get evicted. For landlords it's either evict tenants from properties that are no longer making profit because of increasing costs such as licencing or have your property repossessed because you can no longer pay the mortgage. Banks then evict the tenants anyway.

    Tenants who are often the poorest in society can't afford to buy properties of a size they need to house their families. They constantly complain that it's evil landlords who are the problem because this is what the media, councils, charities and the government telling them.

    They need educating about the truth. It's government policy and under funding that's causing their misery.

    Unfortunately whenever the media are told the truth by people who really know what they're talking about they just stick their fingers in their ears and listen to the lies eminating from government. They're too scared to rock the boat.

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    A license scheme should only be compulsory for Rogue Landlords. So once identified and prosecuted then and only then if the scheme is genuinely to stop Rogue Landlords.
    I actually think it's to raise money for the Local Councils AND so that HMRC can look into your bank accounts and dig their claws into all who are registered. Also, this should be a 2 way street- there are more Rogue Tenants than Rogue Landlords so why no Register for them?

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    Well you are loosing me a bit with all this. The licensing Scheme started in 2006 not 2016 as Google. I have had to license 4 times since 2006 some are only getting their first one now so you had 17 years grace so I feel aggrieved about that.
    This Article 4 is hard for me to understand it seems you need Planning Permission for a HMO in some areas but I never wanted a HMO’s they forced me to have them. The idea was to keep more properties available for Families. So now Gove gave permission to make all lettings Licensable Borough wide in Ealing including Families so where does Article 4 sit now ?.
    The other point is don’t complain about not having an inspection no matter how good you think your property is. It like having an MOT they are sure to find faults especially if you ruffle their feathers.

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    It won’t improve anything continuously attacking landlords, they will pull back do less loose interest and no further investment well done you just make the problem worse save you just want to look after the Big Boys mushrooming high rise Flats around every prime location in Town Centres, is that not what to whole attack and licensing is about and exempt them, £2’000. pm to rent one of those, a 2 bed Flat no exaggeration if you can get it.
    He’s not a fit & proper person to be a Housing Secretary doing so much damage. He haven’t a clue about getting the best out of people and certainly not by attacking them. When I was foreman over 54 men in the’60’s kept everyone happy and deal with their grievances. He wouldn’t have lasted very long with his dogma.
    I propose re-naming the Scheme. The Poverty Licensing Scheme.

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    Michael Gove will move job soon

     
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    He or the Tories not be there this Tim next year and then it’s all change to get worse! As well!

     
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    if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted......here the landlords are victimised

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    Check out these councillors records. Hardly anyone has any experience in politics, or money management, business or housing. They now run and rule the place. Quite a few have come from abroad and do not understand how English system works however the English staff just yield to them in the name of integration.

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