A London Council licenses a whole ward of rental properties

Posted: 17/05/2012

The district that has just had all of its 257 privately rented properties licensed is Little Ilford, Newham, in London. The council now aspires to continue licensing all of the rented properties in the whole of Newham under the Proceeds of Crime Act Legislation.

Newham London Borough Council is the first authority in England and Wales to license all privately rented properties in one of its wards. Little Ilford was chosen because it is a designated Neighbourhood Improvement Zone but the plans don’t stop there.

The Mayor of Newham, Sir Robin Wales spoke to Letting Agent Today and said, ‘It’s a fantastic achievement to reach this milestone, but we certainly won’t be resting on our laurels. We will never accept private sector tenants being directly exploited by landlords who force them to live in dangerous and unacceptable conditions.’

Sir Robin Wales had a clear message that good landlords have nothing to fear from this scheme because it’s aimed to tackle the bad landlords that should not be renting homes to anyone. This scheme is to help tackle the growing trend of ‘beds in sheds’ that are appearing most commonly in the boroughs of London.

Newham are currently in talks about extending their scheme to the whole of the borough which would protect over 35,000 private tenants. The project is backed by the charity Shelter who is urging other councils to follow Newham Council’s lead.

The importance of this scheme is supported by the fact that April was the first successive month that first time buyer loans have dropped meaning more rental properties are needed but this must not cause a slip in standards.

Loans for properties up to £125,000, typically a price paid by a first time buyer, fell 5% lower than in March and 1.2% lower than April 2011. Research has confirmed this is because banks have reduced the availability of high loan to value mortgages due to tightening of credit conditions.

However, approvals in all price brackets over 350,000 increased. The average deposit on a house purchase loan rose above 40% for the first time since the beginning of last year.

Are you a landlord? What do you think of Newham Council’s scheme to license all privately rented homes?

Amanda McGovern, Pali Ltd

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(0) Comments properties, rent, mortgages, first time buyers, tenant, london, landlord

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