Southwark Council launches drive to boost private rental sector homes

Southwark Council launches drive to boost private rental sector homesSouthwark Council has introduced new measures to boost the quality of private rented sector housing in the borough, it has been announced.

As part of a drive to reduce anti-social behaviour, the local authority has sought consultation to see how the private rental sector can be improved.

Views gathered from the consultation will help to influence the council's plans to introduce discretionary licensing in some of the borough's privately managed properties.

Under the scheme, landlords will be required to obtain a license for letting out a property in Southwark.

This is designed to the raise standards of properties let and improve the management of those properties.

The local authority also said that the initiative is designed to combat social problems that are often linked to poorly managed properties.

Commenting on the scheme, councillor Richard Livingstone, cabinet member for housing, said: "We are determined to raise standards in the borough's private rental sector but we cannot do this without hearing the views of local people. No matter your experience, you can help us shape the future of Southwark's growing private rental sector.

"Underpinning our proposals for a new license is serious issue of poorly managed properties which pave the way for anti-social behaviour and substandard living conditions."

There are two separate components to the scheme, including additional licensing for smaller Houses in Multiple Occupations (HMOs) and selective licensing for dwellings in defined areas where there is a link to anti-social behaviour. 

The local authority is also consulting on the HMO standards that are applied in the borough.

According to Southwark Council, a quarter of Southwark's population live in 28,000 privately managed properties.

However, the Greater London Authority (GLA) predicts that demand is set to rise to nearly 44,000 by 2025.

Mr Livingstone added: "As a council we believe that all residents, no matter their housing tenure, deserves a warm, dry and safe home. Both selective licensing and additional licensing gives us the opportunity to drive up standards and bring unscrupulous landlords to account."

Published 15th October, 2014

© 2014 Estates IT Limited

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