Thousands of landlords will soon receive letters alerting them that every private rented home in a London borough will need a licence.
Waltham Forest, London, is the second borough to impose blanket licensing on buy to let and shared houses in multiple occupation (HMO).
The scheme starts from April 1, 2015.
Newham, East London, introduced the UK’s first blanket licensing scheme for 35,000 private rented homes in January 2013.
Now, Waltham Forest is following suit with plans to licence between 30,000 and 35,000 rented homes in the borough.
Licences will cost £500 for five years, but early bird applications from January will qualify for a 50% discount of £250.
The council will soon accept applications online, but landlords will have to make a separate application for each property they rent in the borough.
Councillor Khevyn Limbajee, Cabinet Member for Housing, said, “A strong link has been identified between levels of antisocial behaviour and homes that are rented out privately. The private rented sector makes up one-third of homes within the borough, so it is an issue that we need to address.
“We know we have got a lot of decent, responsible landlords in the borough who are supportive of this scheme and understand the need to tackle antisocial behaviour. They understand that irresponsible landlords give the wider landlord community a bad name by not addressing issues with their tenants and that there needs to be some way of holding to account landlords who simply take the rent and then turn their back on any problems their tenants inflict upon neighbours.”
The licences will include conditions that landlords reference tenants before letting and that they agree to tackle antisocial behaviour or criminal activity by tenants.
The council is setting up a private rented home task force to inspect properties and monitor tenant behaviour to ensure landlords keep to their licence conditions.