Newham Council become the First to Introduce Blanket Licensing of Private Rental Properties

07 October 2012 Categories: News

Newham Council become the First to Introduce Blanket Licensing of Private Rental Properties

Every Landlord, letting agent and property management company within the London Borough of Newham has been sent a letter this week stating that they must license their rental properties by the end of the year or face a fine of up to £20,000. The order ,which covers all types of private rental property and not just HMO‘s as has been the case before now, is thought to be the first one made by any council in England and Wales, but it could spark a trend if it is seen to be effective.

The mandatory licensing scheme comes into effect on January 1 2013, and anyone applying for their license before then (which should be anyone who currently lets a property in Newham) will be granted a lower licensing fee of £150. After January 1 the cost will go up to the normal figure of £500 for a 5-year license.

The council have warned all recipients of the notice that failing to apply for a license by the end of the year will constitute an offense that carries a possible £20,000 fine. They also pointed out that any landlord without a license for a property will not be able to use the Section 21 procedure to gain possession should they need to.

Whether blanket licensing will spread throughout England and Wales remains to be seen, however Shelter is calling for all authorities to follow suit.