Croydon people have one week left to have their say on council plans to renew its scheme that requires privately-let properties to be licensed.
The council created the borough-wide scheme in October 2015 so landlords rent out properties that meet key housing, environmental and safety standards, and it now covers over 35,000 homes.
Ahead of the current scheme expiring on 30 September, members of the public have until 11.59pm on Monday 9 March to give their feedback on the council proposals to renew the scheme. Under legislation introduced since Croydon’s existing scheme came into force, final Government permission is now needed for any new licensing scheme if it covers more than 20% of a borough.
Landlord licensing teams monitor these properties based on a combination of proactive inspections, online checks, responding to tenant complaints or answering public queries.
Most issues, from fixing appliances to ensuring fire safety, can be and are resolved by the council’s landlord licensing teams without needing an improvement notice or prosecution. However, landlords who let unlicensed properties or fail to take appropriate action are fined or prosecuted.
Since the scheme began, the council has received over 35,000 licence applications, inspected more than 11,000 properties, banned 66 properties from being let and fined or prosecuted 33 landlords.
Successful council prosecutions against landlords have included:
• A couple who let a home without working smoke alarms to a family whose son later died after a house fire
• Two people fined £4,000 each for letting a damp and mouldy Croydon house
• A landlord fined over £6,000 for letting a flat with inadequate fire safety measures
Croydon Council’s cabinet agreed in October to consult on several options around renewing the scheme for another five years, with options ranging from another borough-wide scheme to one covering part of it.
“Over the last five years the council’s landlord licensing scheme has set the bar for what makes a good-quality private rented home.
“However, we know there are still many poor-quality unlicensed homes out there and we want feedback on our proposals for this essential scheme to continue. If you haven’t already had your say, now is your chance to contribute before the consultation closes next week.”
Councillor Alison Butler, deputy leader and cabinet member for homes and Gateway services
To view the consultation, which is being run on the council’s behalf by specialist consultancy ORS, visit the council website.