Islington Council launches a new initiative for renters in the borough

Islington Council launches a new initiative for renters in the boroughThese include - a proposal for extra landlord licensing along Holloway Road and Caledonian Road, and a new council-run lettings agency to give tenants access to affordable homes.

The scheme would cover an estimated 3,500 tenants living in homes along the entire length of Holloway Road and Caledonian Road.

As part of their initial investigations into the quality of housing in the borough, Islington Council surveyed 208 properties, known as Houses in Multiple Occupation, which are shared by several households.

Of those homes, the council found that 141 had problems linked to poor management, including dirty communal areas, mice infestations, use of undersized “box rooms” and various other breaches of HMO management regulations.

Other hazards were found including poorly maintained fire alarm systems, unsafe electrical systems and dangerous staircases.

Commenting on the findings, Councillor James Murray, Islington's executive member for housing and development, said: "More and more people in Islington are renting privately and we want to help make sure they get decent homes that they can afford.

"Our proposal for extra landlord licensing along the whole of Holloway Road and Caledonian Road comes after widespread evidence of poor management, including serious issues around electrical safety, fire alarms and landlords letting out tiny ‘shoebox’ flats. Alongside this, our new council-run lettings agency will offer a better deal for private tenants. There will be no fees for tenants and a management service from the council."

Landlords who fail to comply with the new regulations risk prosecution and fines up to £20,000. Consultation on the proposal will begin next week.

In addition to the measurements, the council will offer landlords guaranteed rents in exchange for them reducing the prices, so that they are affordable for people hit by housing benefit caps.

Published 27th October, 2014

© 2014 Estates IT Limited

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