New licensing scheme could simply harass tenants not help them!

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Tenants in Harrow could end up ‘harassed and hounded’ by their landlords after the Council’s new licensing scheme will force landlords to make monthly inspections of their properties, according to the leading landlord association.

Harrow Council’s Selective Licensing scheme will require landlords in Edgware to make monthly inspections of their tenant’s homes when the scheme is introduced on 1 November 2015, and will mean both landlord and tenants will have to allow the Council to undertake compliance checks on receipt of just 24 hours’ notice.

Harrow Council’s licensing conditions will also make landlords responsible for ensuring that external areas are maintained in a reasonable state of cleanliness, including removing any bulky or non-domestic items of waste.

The National Landlords Association (NLA) is warning that some of the licence conditions will lead to tenants feeling harassed and hounded in their homes, and it has branded the conditions unacceptable and unfair for landlords.

Gavin Dick, Local Authority Policy Officer, said:

“The Council has the powers it needs to deal with anti-social behaviour in the borough but instead of allocating funding for enforcement they’ve passed the buck by putting the responsibility onto landlords.

“While we agree that private rented properties must be kept up to standard, the Council’s conditions will essentially result in the harassment of tenants in their own homes. Monthly checks are simply unnecessary and could be considered as breaking a tenant’s ‘right to quiet enjoyment’.

“The Council has displayed an incredible lack of understanding of how private housing works. It’s not for the landlord to decide who can have access to their tenant’s home and when. Neither is it their responsibility to remove household waste, domestic or otherwise.”