Brent Council Extends Selective Licensing Scheme

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Brent Council has opted to extend its selective landlord licensing scheme to include five additional wards, in order to continue to further regulate the local buy to let investment sector.

Brent Council is one of the most active councils in London with regard to prosecuting rogue landlords and letting agents, with a particularly prolific regulatory arm. The council has decided to extend its selective licensing scheme to five additional wards. It will now encompass up to 100,000 additional households.

Since 2016, Brent Council has won over 140 prosecution cases against rogue landlords in the borough, as well as letting agents and sub-letters. This has resulted in the council claiming more than £800,000 in fines. The selective licensing scheme has now been extended to Dudden Hill, Kensal Green, Kilburn, Mapesbury and Queen’s Park.

The new law was introduced at the start of this month and requires that all landlords and managing agents who rent out properties in these newly added five wards to apply for a licence.

Estimates from the council suggest that there are around 5,000 properties in the five wards that will require a selective licence under the new legislation. The fee is £540 for a licence of up to five years, an expense that has received criticism from some landlord bodies for the additional financial pressure it levies on buy to let landlords, many of whom are already feeling the pinch amidst regulatory changes.

Cabinet member for housing and welfare reform, Councillor Eleanor Southwood, discussed the changes. She said: ‘This is good news for everyone who rents their home. Obviously most landlords provide a decent service. Unfortunately, too many think they can take advantage of their tenants. Selective licensing is a big step in the right direction towards a properly regulated rental market – something that’s long overdue across the capital.’

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