Friday, October 12, 2018

Newham private rented sector licensing scheme breaks £5m barrier for recapturing lost Council Tax

​Since the introduction of licensing in 2013 an extra £5,002,203 has been collected from rogue landlords renting out houses in multiple occupation.​

​Newham’s Private Rented Sector (PRS) licensing scheme began five years ago but was forced, by government, to re-launch from scratch in March 2018. Since its restart the PRS Team have processed and issued over 30,000 new licences.

In the same period the team has taken action against landlords in 120 cases where serious and dangerous disrepair was discovered or landlords were breaking the law.

Cllr John Gray, cabinet member for housing said: “This five million pounds, which would have been lost to the council, and therefore the tax payer, has been recouped by the private rented sector team, and will help us fund the crucial services that our residents rely on, from elderly care, to supporting our young people.”

The council would like to thank those landlords who have joined the new scheme, but remind those that have not yet applied that failure to get a license can result in fines of up to £30,000 or a criminal prosecution and unlimited fines.

In addition from the 1 October this year, new regulations mean properties, no matter how many floors they are arranged over, which are rented to 2 or more households, and/or 5 or more  occupants require a mandatory HMO licence.

The new legislation won’t affect most Newham landlords as they are already required to get a licence to rent out to three or more individuals through Newham’s Additional HMO Licensing Scheme.

The exception is some landlords in the E20 (Stratford New Town) ward will now be required to obtain a HMO licence where previously they were not required to.

The change of rules has been introduced by government, but will be implemented by Newham Council’s Private Sector Housing Team.

Cllr Gray said:  “I would urge any landlords to engage with our team especially if they are unclear about the new regulations. We genuinely want to work with landlords to create a fair rental market for them, and for all our residents. Together we can work to drive the rogues out of the market and improve the lives of tenants.

Hat tip Newham Council press release

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