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Big suburban council to extend £950 licencing scheme

Barking and Dagenham Council is the latest borough to launch a bid to renew and expand its licencing schemes.

The east London authority wants residents and private landlords to respond to its consultation about a selective licensing scheme to replace the current one that ends on 31st August, plus a new additional scheme for HMOs.

Fees are set to rise by £50 to £950 for a selective licence, although a discount of up to £250 is being offered for landlords based on best practice and/or accreditation scheme membership. An additional HMO licence will cost £1,400.

The borough reports that its current scheme has helped tackle poor property conditions, non-compliant landlords, and poor management in the PRS which now accounts for 30% of households in the borough, compared with 17% in 2011.

Since September 2019, it has issued 17,556 selective licences, launched 64 prosecutions against criminal landlords and served 509 notices on landlords relating to property standards across the borough (main image).


A report explains that its “fresh, more targeted multi-designation approach to selective licensing” aims to group neighbourhoods based on their particular issues, so it can effectively deploy resources to tackle anti-social behaviour, poor housing conditions, and deprivation.

Councillor Syed Ghani (pictured), cabinet member for enforcement and community safety, says it wants to make sure that landlords are providing good, quality homes for their tenants.

He adds: “These licensing schemes allow us to work closely with landlords to help them improve and maintain their properties as well as take action against anyone who fails to follow the set requirements.”

The consultation closes on 26th April and, if the council decides to renew the selective licensing scheme, it will need approval from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and could take effect in early 2025. The additional scheme would be introduced this summer.


Selective licensing