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London council consults on second licence for HMOs

Words: Laura Edgar
House share / Shutterstock_292953437

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council has published a consultation on draft plans that seek to improve housing standards and take action against landlords that don’t provide safe accommodation for tenants in houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

Under existing mandatory licensing rules, the council can only licence about 185 properties.

The consultation seeks views on introducing an extra licence that would add another layer of protection for tenants, identifying licensed and responsible landlords.

There are 8,244 HMOs in Kensington and Chelsea, and 44 per cent of the borough’s housing stock is privately rented. According to the council’s research, there are about 2,400 privately rented properties that have the most serious hazards. Many are “poorly managed” and are associated with antisocial behaviour.

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.”

The council explained that 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.  

The consultation can be found on the council website.

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