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Some tenants could be owed thousands of pounds in rent repayments because landlord has failed to obtain the correct licence.
So said Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan when launching a new Property Licence Checker online service to enable renters to check whether their landlord has appropriate licences.
The Mayor also repeated his call for additional powers to approve new licensing schemes in London.
‘With a patchwork of different property licensing schemes in place for different types of privately rented housing in different London boroughs, it can be difficult for tenants to know if their landlord has secured the correct licence’, suggested the Mayor.
The new service ‘will help renters find out whether their home needs a licence and, if so, will direct them to the relevant borough to check whether a licence is in place’.
If the landlord does not hold the correct property licence, the implications could be also significant since Section 21 ‘no fault’ eviction notices are invalidated and renters may be entitled to a Rent Repayment Order requiring a landlord to pay back up to 12 months’ rent.
The Licence Checker, developed in collaboration with the Mayor’s Private Rented Sector Partnership with London boroughs, is in addition to the Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker launched in 2017, which contains information about private landlords and letting agents who have been prosecuted or fined.
‘With nearly a fifth of London’s private rented accommodation not meeting basic standards, it is vital that every privately rented property is licensed so landlords can be held to account for the conditions their tenants live in’, claimed Sadiq Khan.
‘My new Property Licence Checker is a key part of my work to redress the imbalance of power that currently exists in the London private rented sector. London’s renters deserve to live in safe, secure, comfortable accommodation, whilst councils need the tools to deal with rogue operators.