News

Greenwich letting agents attend briefing on new additional licensing scheme

Thursday, November 23, 2017 - Royal Borough of Greenwich

On 16 November 2017, letting agents from across the Royal Borough of Greenwich attended an additional licensing briefing at Charlton House, hosted by London Property Licensing.

The event, organised in partnership with the Royal Borough and the National Approved Letting Scheme (NALS), was designed to help agents understand and comply with the new landlord licensing scheme that came into force on 1 October 2017.

Greenwich additional licensing scheme briefing for letting agents 2017

More than 30 letting agents attended the briefing and heard presentations by senior council licensing officers. Richard Tacagni from London Property Licensing was also on hand to give helpful hints and tips to help navigate the licensing process.

Isobel Thomson, the chief executive of NALS said: 

When a new licensing scheme is implemented, it is vital that councils engage with letting agents to explain the requirements and assist in smooth implementation of the scheme. We are delighted to have worked in collaboration with the Royal Borough of Greenwich to help local agents understand the requirements and achieve compliance.

Greenwich additional licensing scheme briefing for letting agents 2017

Richard Tacagni, MD, London Property Licensing added: 

The event served its purpose by raising knowledge and awareness of the new Greenwich licensing scheme and gave agents the opportunity to ask lots of questions and seek clarification on a wide range of issues.

Day of action to tackle rogue landlords

Meanwhile, a day of action was held last week to identify suspected unlicensed and potentially unsafe HMOs in Plumstead and Glyndon wards.  A total of 324 households were visited by Royal Greenwich Environmental Health Residential Services officers who carried out enquiries about the rental position and standards of properties in the area.  

The targeted action resulted in 18 previously unknown HMOs being identified which will now be investigated.  Further targeted action days will be taking place next month in the Shooters Hill area.

Landlords are being urged to apply for licences now to comply with the requirements and avoid committing a criminal offence, which could result in prosecution and an unlimited fine, or a civil penalty of up to £30,000. According to the council, the scheme aims to drive up the quality of rented property across Greenwich and ensure all homes are safe and well managed. 

To encourage landlords to apply, early bird discounts are being offered until 18 March 2018. 

Councillor Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment, said: 

We are continuing to build upon our proactive approach to tackle rogue landlords and illegal HMOs.  We are grateful for any information to help with our investigations into landlords who flout the rules and homes which are potentially dangerous for tenants. 

We are determined to drive up standards for private renters across the Royal Borough to ensure none have to live in overcrowded or unsafe homes without proper kitchen or bathroom facilities.  Sub-standard HMOs have a negative impact on the local community as often they create problems such as over-flowing bins and fly-tipping.

Alongside a huge growth in the private rented sector, which now accounts for a third of all homes there has also been a massive growth of HMOs in the Royal Borough rising from just 2,000 in 2012 to 7,000 in 2017. It is of major importance that we ensure all private renters live in safe and properly maintained homes.

Any landlords who believe they may need to licence their properties can check online at www.royalgreenwich.gov.uk/hmo

Information about property licensing in Greenwich is also available on our website at: www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/greenwich.  

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