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London council bids to continue clampdown on small HMOs

haringey council additional licensing

Haringey Council has urged landlords to share their views on plans for a new additional licensing scheme in the borough.

Its current scheme is due to end next May, but the authority believes that now, more than ever, is the right time to introduce another, for which landlords face a £1,331 fee. A report explains: “Especially considering the legacy of the Covid 19 pandemic is still being managed, the current cost of living crisis is affecting so many of our households, HMO accommodation is such a much-needed source of accommodation, and evidence suggests that a significant proportion of landlords are still non-compliant.”

Cultural change

It also wants to create a cultural change in how this sector - which numbers 4,830 and makes up about 10% of the overall PRS in Haringey - is perceived by tenants and residents, and to create a more positive relationship between the council, landlords and letting agents.

Councillor Sarah Williams (pictured), cabinet member for housing services, private renters and planning, says: “We have many great landlords here in Haringey, but it’s important that the council uses all its regulatory powers to act against rogue landlords.”

Keen enforcer

The authority is a keen enforcer of its schemes – including a selective scheme which took effect last November - and reveals that landlords with properties within its boundaries have been issued with fines totalling £250,000 for not licensing HMOs in the past four years.

However, Haringey was criticised earlier this year following an NRLA investigation into its additional scheme. The group said the council’s own data revealed that, “Haringey is inspecting properties but finding significantly fewer category 1 (i.e. serious) hazards than you would expect if the properties were substandard, which the council used as justification for introducing the designation.”

The consultation ends on 12th February.

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