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Big London council reveals carrots and sticks for landlords

Sem Moema Hackney Council

Hackney Council has promised landlords financial support to stay in the PRS while beefing up licensing and getting tough on short-term lets.

The London borough’s draft private sector housing strategy sets out its plans to renew and extend its existing additional landlord licensing scheme for a further five years, and to consult on a new selective licensing scheme.

The strategy is calling for a ban on bidding wars – as it says up to 100 renters are putting in offers for the same property – as well as licensing of short-term lets. It also aims to hold private landlords to the same standards and responsibilities that social housing landlords are held to by extending Awaab’s Law.

Extend portfolios

Hackney’s report says it will consult landlords to identify those who want to extend their portfolios and consider how to help them do so, such as by offering council tax holidays when properties are empty, loans to undertake improvement work secured against future rent, rent guarantees over and above LHA levels through considered and effective use of Discretionary Housing Payments and the council acting as property guarantor.

It will also consider practical benefits to secure membership of the London Landlords Accreditation Scheme and to encourage landlords to attend local Landlord Forum events.

Pushing government

Councillor Sem Moema, deputy cabinet member for private rented sector and housing affordability (pictured), says while it welcomes the introduction of the Renters Reform Bill, after so much delay, the authority will need to keep pushing the government to implement these changes in months, not years.

She adds that the strategy, “…sets out how we will use every power we have to raise standards of accommodation and challenge rogue landlords in the borough, while we continue to make the case to the government for the protections that Hackney’s private renters deserve.”


Renters reform bill
Selective licensing
awaab's law
Short term lets