At the recent full council meeting, councillors voted in favour of a Liberal Democrat motion to introduce Selective Licensing in the Borough.
Selective licensing has recently been introduced across the whole of the neighbouring borough of Newham. Once in place the law requires that all landlords in the area are licensed and that license can then be revoked if certain conditions aren’t met.
Lib Dems want to use it to tackle rogue landlords and in particular the growth of anti-social behaviour in private rented properties, which now make up 32% of the Borough’s housing stock.
The motion called for a full consultation on proposals to introduce selective licensing in the Borough to tackle rogue landlords, although this was diluted by a Labour amendment, which instead simply referred to ‘an evaluation’.
Lib Dem Housing spokesperson Councillor Winnie Smith, who moved the motion said:
“We’re pleased that the council are now seriously looking into selective licensing. And we hope that the Labour group will now stick to the spirit of the motion and push forward with selective licensing.
“There is a clear need to tackle the growing problem of rogue landlords in the Borough. As we heard from Leyton resident Sharon Crossland in the council meeting, there are landlords in our borough that just aren’t playing by the rules and there is only so much that can be done at the moment without this new licensing power.”
“Many residents are suffering in properties that just aren’t up to standard and paying too much for poor housing that’s blighted by anti-social behaviour.”