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Kingston Council have consulted on plans to renew additional landlord licensing scheme

Thursday, January 5, 2017 - Kingston Council

Enquiries by London Property Licensing have revealed a recent consultation by Kingston Council about whether to renew their additional landlord licensing scheme.

In December 2012, the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames introduced an additional licensing scheme covering certain smaller Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). The scheme covered HMOs one or two storeys high occupied by five or more people and HMOs three or more storeys high with only three or four occupants. The licensing scheme remains in force and was due to end on 30 November 2017.

When the scheme was implemented in 2012, the council estimated that 500 to 1,000 properties would need to be licensed although by late 2016, the number of additional licensed properties stood at 165.

According to the council’s consultation portal, a proposal to renew the additional licensing scheme was out for consultation from 7 October to 16 December 2016. Unfortunately, the information was not shared with London Property Licensing and so we were unable to cascade the information to others. The consultation supporting documents have since been removed from the council’s website

Speaking at the start of the consultation, Cllr Cathy Roberts, Cabinet Member with responsibility for Housing at Kingston Council, said:  

This discretionary licensing scheme can be used by local authorities that have a high number of smaller shared rental properties in their area. Kingston has a large student population. AHMOL helps to protect them, and other people living in shared accommodation, from unscrupulous landlords.

To obtain a licence, landlords need to comply with stipulated safety standards, which safeguards against poor housing conditions, and stops overcrowding.

The council has to review discretionary services before deciding if they should be continued or not. We believe the scheme is helping to drive up standards for renters but we want to hear from residents about their experiences of the scheme, whether directly or indirectly involved with it.”  

"The AHMOL scheme provides a useful framework for responsible landlords, who want to do right by their tenants. And landlords who commit to improving living standards, do better in the long run.” 

Council Officers are now analysing the results before presenting a report back to councillors for a final decision later in the year.

For more information on property licensing requirements in the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, visit www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/kingston-upon-thames.

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