‘Shelter strongly supports the ability of local authorities to use selective licensing. Licensing helps local housing enforcement officers identify privately rented properties in their area, enabling them to develop proactive inspection and enforcement programmes. It provides an opportunity for good landlords to identify themselves to the local housing authority. This makes it easier for local enforcement officers to prioritise identifying and inspecting unlicensed properties, which are more likely to have poor standards of maintenance and management. Licences often contain a higher set of standards than minimum legal requirements. For example licence conditions often include: issuing renters with a written tenancy agreement, proof of electrical safety checks and regular property inspections.
Requiring contact information for private landlords in their area allows local housing authorities to offer services to improve their practice, such as regular information updates, training courses, forums and signposting to local statutory and voluntary services. Licensing, therefore, is an important tool to improve the sector, not only to deal with landlords who deliberately exploit renters, but for the large numbers of amateur and accidental landlords who are unsure of their responsibilities.
Regarding our private renting campaign and what this could mean for your local authority:
Local authorities who have signed the Evict Rogue Landlords Statement of Support are committing to doing all they can to stamp out rogue landlords. They are added to the Shelter website and we promote any examples of good practice that they share. We also use social media to publically celebrate tough action and successful prosecutions. And we follow up with joint press and media work where appropriate.
When signing up to the campaign we ask local authorities to outline the steps that they are already taking. We use the campaign to keep in touch with local authorities, continue to hear about their positive work, and learn from them about the challenges and issues that they face.’
‘You may also wish to view our campaign page, as there is a list of all the local authorities which are supporting the campaign. Seeing this may help encourage Croydon council to get involved:
Email from Shelter to Sean Creighton, 27 November
Supporter Helpdesk Officer.