New licence could boost housing standards for private tenants

Published: Wednesday 31 March 2021

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An extra licence for landlords and agents who operate houseshare-style properties could help make homes safer and healthier for private tenants in Kensington and Chelsea.

The Council is asking for views on the draft plans, which would help them to drive up housing standards and enforce against criminal landlords operating houses in multiple occupation (HMO). These are typically houseshares, bedsits and converted buildings with self-contained flats.

There are 8,244 HMOs in Kensington Chelsea and 44% of the borough’s housing stock is privately rented. Council research shows there are approximately 2,400 privately rented properties that have the most serious hazards, whilst many are poorly managed and are associated with anti-social behaviour.

Under existing mandatory licensing rules, the Council can only license around 185 properties. The new licence would provide a new layer of protection for tenants, identifying licensed and responsible landlords. These proposals are part of Kensington and Chelsea’s commitment to drive up safety standards for properties in the borough.

Director of Streets and Technical Services Mahmood Siddiqi said:

"Everyone deserves a safe place to live and most landlords in our borough are fair and responsible. This proposed licensing scheme would boost housing standards and give us more information so we can enforce against the few landlords who persistently provide poorly managed housing to their tenants.

“It could be good news for tenants and good news for compliant landlords, who would be able to operate in a fairer market. We need to consult before we make any decisions, so share your views in our consultation until June.”

The proposals have been designed as a ‘light touch’ scheme for landlords to reduce paperwork such as the licence application and make compliance as simple as possible.

More information about the proposals is available on the Council's consultation portal and the 12-week consultation is open to everyone until 20th June 2021.