Call for London’s councils to get MORE landlord licensing powers

Call for London’s councils to get MORE landlord licensing powers

0:01 AM, 30th May 2023, About 6 months ago 9

Text Size

In a call that will cause dismay among landlords in the capital, one organisation is urging for MORE devolved licensing powers to be handed to London’s councils.

A think tank called Centre for London has published a report entitled: ‘Licence to Let: How property licensing could better protect private renters’.

The report says that the government’s Renters’ Reform Bill offers a huge opportunity in boosting renters’ rights across the UK.

And it points to the Bill’s proposals for a ‘Property Portal’ – also known as a national landlord register – which aims to provide tenants with greater transparency regarding their landlords’ identities.

‘Far from enough to deal with London’s housing issues’

The report’s author says: “This Portal is far from enough to deal with London’s housing issues by itself.

“The government needs to make sure their Portal complements local authorities’ efforts to enforce standards and support tenants.”

To achieve this, several key recommendations are being made for the government to consider:

  • Grant local authorities the authority to design and implement selective licensing schemes, irrespective of their scale.
  • Harmonise the national landlord register with selective property licensing initiatives rather than seeking to replace them.
  • Prioritise investment in the housing enforcement workforce of local authorities. By boosting the resources, staffing and capabilities of these bodies will strengthen their capacity to enforce regulations and ensure housing standards are upheld.

Greater autonomy in policing private rented sector housing

One of those supporting the call to the government to grant councils greater autonomy in policing private rented sector housing is the Mayor of Newham, Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz OBE.

Newham prides itself as a ‘trailblazing pioneer of PRS licensing’ in the UK and is a ‘passionately advocate for power to be decentralised to local authorities’.

The council also backs the report’s call for increased funding to enhance enforcement measures.

‘Newham has successfully implemented licensing schemes’

The Mayor said: “As the national frontrunner in private rented sector (PRS) licensing, Newham has successfully implemented licensing schemes since 2013.

“This initiative has empowered our council to combat the most egregious ‘rogue landlords’ who exploit vulnerable residents amid a housing market that is undeniably fractured.”

She continued: “Despite its undeniable success, our council has been burdened with the arduous task of seeking government approval for our scheme every five years since 2015.

“This cumbersome process is not only financially draining but also diverts precious resources and funding away from our primary mission of enforcing and improving housing standards.

The PRS will be better regulated

Mayor Fiaz says that by devolving PRS licensing powers to local authorities like Newham, the PRS will be better regulated because they ‘possess intimate knowledge’ of the area’s housing markets.

Ms Fiaz is also calling for a substantial increase in trained staff and funding to ensure the ‘robust enforcement of PRS regulations’.

She adds: “Any proposed Property Portal for a National Landlord register, as outlined in the recent Renters’ Reform Bill proposals, must be thoughtfully designed to complement and work in synergy with local authority licensing schemes, rather than replacing them.”

Share This Article


Whiteskifreak Surrey

9:41 AM, 30th May 2023, About 6 months ago

We have one property in Newham. It is a real pain to go through the apllication process. 25 pages of mostly useless information to be provided on the aoplication online. Every 5 years is the same.
We used an early bird offer this year, which is £400 for 5 years per property.
They also inspected our house last year and found nothing.
Of course they only inspect the homes on the register, belonging to decent, law obliging LLs. The rogues are rife in Newham, but nobody cares.
With the upcoming LLs register, undoubtldly with a hefty fee, the licensing system must be made obsolete. I doubt the mkney will be reimbursed, though.


10:40 AM, 30th May 2023, About 6 months ago

I have 3 properties in Newham 2 have been inspected and for the 3rd property they requested paperwork relating to everything associated with the letting for the past five years.
That included a comprehensive list relating to the management, fire safety, antisocial behaviour, all paperwork given to tenants etc etc.
They seem to target the low hanging fruit and not the people they should be targeting.
I know of at least two properties in the same road where the owners have been renting them for years with no licence. One has recently sold up but the other is still getting away with it.
Licensing is an unnecessary burden and a good earner for the councils.

Reluctant Landlord

10:41 AM, 30th May 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Stella at 30/05/2023 - 10:40
so report the ones you know who is evading licencing!


10:47 AM, 30th May 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to DSR

Will do!

Reluctant Landlord

11:06 AM, 30th May 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Stella at 30/05/2023 - 10:47I secretly think the councils are looking at the pi$$ed of good LL's to dob in others.

Think about does their job for them then. They get a tip off for free, and investigate. If they find a rouge LL as a result, they can prosecute etc then hold up that SL is the way forward as they associate this as how the bring rogue LL's to boot.

The other half of me says don't tell them so they cant use the same excuse to justify SL.

If you do dob the errant LL's in do so anonymously!

Gul Meah

22:09 PM, 30th May 2023, About 6 months ago

councils had properties they had them run down, leaking ceilings, and mould and now they think they are the expert in the private rental market. It is just a scam; the council need money and they saw private landlord for quick cash machines.


10:36 AM, 31st May 2023, About 6 months ago

If they want a Register for Landlords then by the same token there should be one for Tenants - especially if sec 21 are being ditched. There are more rogue Tenants than rogue Landlords.
Personally, this proposed Renter's Reform Bill will be the last straw for me. As a Landlord with 23 properties I can only feel sorry for my wonderful Tenants, some of whom have been with me for over 10 years with no problems. That will be 23 families looking for alternative accommodation.

Peter Watson

21:15 PM, 31st May 2023, About 6 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Tracy Fewtrell at 31/05/2023 - 10:36
Totally agree. Smaller scale with long term tenants.

I am getting out. Councils just see this as a revenue stream.

Mick Roberts

7:42 AM, 3rd June 2023, About 6 months ago

Didn't Newham have the highest homeless shortly after they bought in Licensing?

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership


Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now