Stop Newham Licensing
Landlords who rent out properties privately in London Borough Newham could be the first in the country to face mandatory licensing under new proposals. Newham Council has started a 10-week consultation on proposals to introduce a licensing scheme for all private landlords that would see them and their properties subjected to legal checks. If the scheme is approved by councillors, it will be the first borough in England to license all private landlords. Landlords in the borough will need to show that they are "fit and proper persons". They will also need to demonstrate to the local authority that any gas and electrical installations have a safety certificate, tenants are on written tenancy agreements and anti-social behaviour and repairs are effectively managed. Newham Council has been piloting a version of the licensing scheme in an area of the borough for the last 18 months. Under the scheme landlords are charged £500 for a licence, or £300 for early applications. If mandatory licensing across the borough is approved, the scheme in Newham could be extended to other parts of the country. We believe that the local authority has enough powers to deal with "rogue landlords" through: - Anti Social Behaviour Orders (ASBO's), - The General Product Safety Regulations 2005, - The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988, - The Environmental Protection Act 1990, - Statutory Nuisance and Housing Health and Safety Rating System, - Existing HMO legislation i.e. Part 7 of section 254 of The Housing Act 2004 and can refer issues to the Health and Safety Executive and the Fire and Community Safety Directorate of the London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority. Furthermore Tenants are protected by: - Tenancy deposit legislation, - The Unfair Contract Terms Act 1977, - The Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts Regulations 1999, - The Gas Safety (Installation and Use) Regulations 1998, - The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, - The Defective Premises Act 1972 and - The Landlord and Tenant Act 1985 etc. The above proposals are likely to result in increases of rents which will effect Tenants,the vast majority ofwhom are already experiencing financial difficulties infinding accomodation. As such support is required to prevent this becoming legislation.