Public consultation will begin next month on whether private rented homes in Croydon should continue to need a property licence.
In October 2015, Croydon Council introduced a borough-wide scheme requiring all private landlords to be licensed and ensure their tenants’ homes meet key housing, environmental and safety standards.
With the current five-year scheme due to end on 30 September 2020, Croydon Council’s cabinet agreed last night (Monday) to consult on several options around renewing the scheme for another five years. Under legislation introduced since Croydon’s existing scheme came into force, final Government permission is now needed for any new licensing scheme covering more than 20% of a local authority area.
The council’s landlord licensing teams monitor privately-rented properties based on a combination of proactive inspections, online checks, responding to tenant complaints or answering queries from the wider public.
Since the scheme began, the council’s landlord licensing team has:
• Received over 35,000 licence applications
• Inspected more than 8,000 properties
• Served more than 3,700 improvement notices
• Banned landlords of 51 properties from holding a licence
• Fined or prosecuted 33 landlords.
Most issues, from fixing appliances to ensuring fire safety, can be and are resolved by the council’s landlord licensing team without needing an improvement notice or prosecution. However, landlords who let unlicensed properties or fail to take appropriate action are fined or prosecuted.
Earlier this month magistrates fined a landlord and two related companies after a council prosecution for failing to apply to license a New Addington flat or answer requests for information. The council also issued an improvement notice on the property after finding it had no smoke detectors and defective electrics and windows.
Other prosecutions carried out to date include two people fined £4,000 each for renting out a damp and mouldy Croydon house, and a landlord fined over £6,000 for letting a flat with inadequate fire safety measures.
“Many thousands of our residents live in private sector housing, and the council’s landlord licensing team works to ensure their homes are good-quality, safe and secure.
“Four years in, the council’s landlord licensing scheme is giving greater protection to more than 35,000 households across the borough, and this consultation is about assessing what people think about our proposals to continue it.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services
The consultation, which will run from 11 November until 17 February, includes three options – a scheme covering 92% of the private rented sector in Croydon; a borough-wide scheme; or one that focuses on property conditions in 22 Croydon wards, and anti-social behaviour in the remaining six.