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Enfield Council is consulting residents about its proposal to introduce compulsory licensing of private landlords throughout the Borough. The private rented sector now accounts for about a fifth of homes in the Borough and is associated with increased levels of anti-social behaviour, such as noise nuisance, dumping of rubbish, pest infestations and unsightly front gardens. In some cases, landlords are failing to control the activities of their tenants, in others the landlords themselves are directly to blame.

The Council's ambition is that the sector should instead be a positive force, proving homes and contributing to cohesive neighbourhoods and a sense of place. The licensing and accreditation scheme would clarify the responsibilities of both landlords and tenants and set out minimum standards for managing and maintaining properties.

Enfield Council view this measure as a last resort. If the scheme is introduced, Enfield will be the second local authority to require licensing of all private landlords. Newham, where an even higher proportion of homes are in the private rented sector, brought in a similar measure about a year ago. Before introducing the scheme, Newham surveyed residents and landlords. Over 70 per cent of residents and of private tenants were in favour, whereas a similar proportion of private landlords were opposed to compulsory licensing, though some agreed that measures were needed to tackle antisocial behaviour.

Licenses issued to landlords would specify the maximum number of household and/or persons allowed to live in a property, prevent use of kitchens and bathrooms as bedrooms or bedsits. Landlords would be obliged to take measures if complaints were made about antisocial behaviour by tenants. They would have to ensure that properties and equipment (eg gas and electrical appliances) were safe. They would have to have arrangements in place for removal of bulky waste and must not allow tenants to dump rubbish in front or back gardens.

A page on the Council website gives access to detailed documentation and to an online questionnaire seeking the views of residents. The deadline for submitting views is 28 February.

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Council consulting on proposals to license private landlords

Enfield Council has launched a consultation on its proposals for two Private Rented Property Licensing Schemes. The consultation, which runs until 29th November, is open to all residents, tenants, landlords, agents, businesses and any interested parties in Enfield and outside of the borough. Read more

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