London Council Plans Triple Whammy Of Landlord Licensing And Regulation

Merton Council, which includes the famous Wimbledon lawn tennis centre, is embarking on a big push to license all rented properties and HMOs in the borough as well as limiting the growth of small HMOs.

It wants landlords to take part in its new consultation on plans for selective and additional licensing as well as an Article 4 direction.

The proposed selective licensing scheme would cover Figge’s Marsh, Graveney, Longthornton, and Pollards Hill where 5,500 privately rented properties would need a licence.

Additional licensing would cover Figge’s Marsh, Graveney, Longthornton, Pollards Hill, Colliers Wood, Cricket Green, and Lavender Fields where there are about 700 unlicensed HMOs. An Article 4 direction would cover Colliers Wood, Cricket Green and Lavender Fields.

Poor property Merton has more than 29,000 rented properties (about 34% of total stock) and says its research has identified issues in the sector related to poor property conditions and anti-social behaviour.

It recorded 3,275 complaints from private tenants over a five-year period, a report explains: “Having proactively used existing enforcement and other powers, the council now feels that the introduction of selective licensing in these specific areas will result in a reduction of these problems.”

Councillor Andrew Judge (pictured), cabinet member for housing and sustainable development, says: “We are determined that Merton residents living in rented accommodation have a home that is in good condition and is well managed, and that no resident has to endure the anti-social behaviour caused by overcrowded, poorly managed properties.”

Proposed fees are £652 for a selective licence, and between £1,115 and £1,215 for an additional licence. The 10-week consultation ends on 23rd January.

Read more: Official council tax re-banding of HMOs a ‘huge blow for tenants’, says MP Subscribe here for the latest landlord news and receive tips from industry experts:

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