The licensing scheme will cover an estimated 35,000 private tenancies, representing one in three of all the borough’s households. Newham Council says it made the decision after consulting extensively with residents, private sector tenants, landlords and lettings agencies: 74% of residents and 76% of private tenants supported the scheme. Interestingly there is no mention of the percentage support from Landlords and lettings agents.
The scheme requires private landlords to pay £150 for a five-year licence if they register before 31st December 2012; otherwise the full fee is £500. Landlords who fail to get a licence face fines of up to £20,000.
The move by Newham council is unlikely to be welcomed by law abiding private landlords who will know doubt view this as unnecessary cost, as for other local authorities they’ll be keeping their beady eye on this as a useful way to generate revenue in these challenging economic times.
Paula Cunningham – Director
Living Property Waveney Lettings & Management