COUNCILLOR Louise Mitchell, Waltham Forest Council Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness Prevention, has called on the minister to protect vulnerable individuals and families living in privately rented accommodation by supporting Waltham Forest’s submission.
Waltham Forest Council introduced borough-wide licensing in 2015, which requires landlords to licence most property offered for private rent.
Over the last five years, the council has made full use of new enforcement powers targeted at non-compliant landlords with decisive interventions to safeguard tenants. The council has undertaken a range of strong actions as part of the enforcement of the licensing scheme:
- issued nearly 100 Civil Penalties,
- issued more than 40 interim management orders,
- improved 3,000 privately rented properties
pursued 95 successful prosecutions, resulting in more than £300,000 in court-imposed fines.
The council’s existing scheme comes to an end in March 2020, and the council must now apply to the government to confirm a new scheme, to protect tenants for another five-year period.
Councillor Mitchell said: “Licensing provides local authorities with genuine powers to protect tenants tackle criminal landlords and drive up standards across the private rented sector and it is highly effective…
“With more than a third of Waltham’s Forest’s residents now renting privately, it is more important than ever that government allow us to retain the powers to tackle non-compliant landlords.”