Agents and landlords across a large part of central London are warned that this week, a new licensing scheme came into force.
In Camden, as from Tuesday (Dec 8), all Houses in Multiple Occupation had to be licensed.
The scheme will extend property licensing to an estimated 8,000 properties, and includes all private rented accommodation shared by three or more people who are not related, even if the tenants moved in together on a single tenancy.
The licensing scheme also includes ‘Section 257 HMOs’. These are properties that have been converted into self-contained flats but do not comply with the relevant building regulations.
Camden Council has restricted the licensing of these Section 257 HMOs to properties where at least 50% of the flats are privately rented.
The licensing scheme has been introduced in an attempt to drive up standards in the private rented sector.
As part of the evidence gathering process, Camden environmental health officers visited 391 HMOs and rated 19% as poor or very poor for property management and condition.
During the 22-week consultation exercise, the council received 1,400 responses to their online survey of which 70% were in favour of the proposed licensing scheme.
To obtain a licence, landlords need to complete an application form, supply various supporting documents and pass a “fit and proper person” assessment. They must also pay an application fee of £450 for the property plus an additional £45 for each separate letting (e.g. bedroom, bedsit or studio flat) within.
Accredited landlords will receive a £95 discount if they have joined a scheme approved under the London Rental Standard.
The council says that every single property that is made the subject of an application will be inspected.
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