Ealing Council is proposing some changes to its property licensing schemes to make private renting in the borough safer and better.
Since 2017, many privately rented homes in Ealing have needed a licence to be let. Licensing has been a success in Ealing, delivering safer homes for tenants, more support for landlords, and a reduction in neighbourhood nuisance and anti-social behaviour.
The council is now examining the possibility of expanding the licensing system to better manage and regulate more rented properties.
The plans include:
– Renewing the existing borough-wide ‘additional’ licensing scheme for houses in multiple occupation (HMO), and expanding it to include the majority of HMOs, rather than just the larger ones.
– Expanding licensing to cover all rented properties in the 15 wards of the borough with the highest number of homes in poor condition. This is known as selective licensing and builds on a scheme introduced in 2017 which covered five of the wards. Details of the wards included can be found in the proposals.
Under the schemes, a licence holder would have to comply with several conditions relating to the management and condition of the property, including gas, electrics and fire safety.
They would also have to provide a written tenancy agreement – and properly manage any anti-social behaviour from their tenants.
The licences will last for five years, but can be reviewed if standards are not being met.
Tell the council what you think
Before any decisions are made, Ealing Council is running a public consultation which closes on Monday, 2 August.
Many people will be affected by the proposed changes, including tenants, landlords, property agents, and neighbours. The council wants to hear their views.
As well as filling in the council’s online survey, you can share your views on property licensing with council officers by attending a live virtual public meeting. The meetings will take place from 7 – 8.30pm on the following dates:
• Wednesday, 9 June for tenants living in private rented properties.
• Wednesday, 16 June for landlords and managing and lettings agents.
• Wednesday, 23 June for all other residents and businesses.
The meetings will be run on the council’s behalf by HQN, an independent housing consultancy. To book your place at a meeting, or to ask any other questions about the council’s proposals, please contact HQN by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01904 557197.
The number of places at each meeting is limited to ensure that everyone has a chance to ask questions and give their views, so if you’d like to attend, please get in touch now.
‘Raising standards for tenants’
Councillor Joanna Camadoo-Rothwell, Ealing Council’s lead member for community safety and inclusion said: “Property licensing is one of the best tools available to us to ensure safer and better conditions in private rented homes. Over the last five years, it has helped us to raise standards for tenants and provide better support for landlords, who play a vital role in the local housing market.
“Although the overwhelming majority of landlords and agents offer good quality housing for their tenants, a small but significant minority do not. The proposed expansion of licensing would help us to tackle problem landlords and push up standards in the borough’s rented homes. We encourage all residents to tell us their views on these plans.”
You can respond to this consultation on the council’s website.