A new licence for landlords and agents who operate house share-style properties is being introduced to help make homes safer for private tenants in Kensington and Chelsea.
The Council is introducing the new additional licensing scheme to help drive up housing standards and enforce against criminal landlords operating houses in multiple occupation (HMOs). These are typically house or flat shares, bedsits and converted buildings with non-self-contained flats.
HMOs have some of the poorest housing conditions of any type of home. Council analysis shows that 2,372 HMOs where amenities are shared in Kensington and Chelsea are predicted to have serious hazards, whilst many are poorly managed and are associated with anti-social behaviour.
Under existing mandatory licensing rules, the Council can only license around 185 properties. The new licence would provide a new layer of protection for tenants, identifying licensed and responsible landlords. These proposals are part of Kensington and Chelsea’s commitment to make homes safer and make the borough a fairer place to live for everyone.
Cllr Cem Kemahli, lead member for planning, place and environment said:
Everyone deserves a safe home and we welcome landlords providing good places to live. This new licensing scheme will drive up housing standards and give us more information so we can enforce against the few landlords who persistently provide poorly managed housing to their tenants.
This is about making access to safe homes fairer for people who live in the borough. This should also be notice to bad landlords that we won’t tolerate poor quality housing in our borough.
The Council is using the same licence application system that already exists for its mandatory licensing scheme, which is already in place for HMOs with five or more occupants. The simple online form is designed to reduce make paperwork and make the licence application and compliance as simple as possible. Applications are open now via the Council website.