Published: Friday, 28th September 2018
Students living in private shared accommodation in the Royal Borough of Greenwich are being encouraged to check that their landlord is licensed.
The Council launched its house in multiple occupation (HMO) compulsory licensing scheme in October 2017, which requires landlords of multi-let homes to get a licence from the Council.
Most landlords are aware of their legal duties to ensure their multi-let properties are up to safe standards for people to live in. However, data by the Council shows that many are still not licensed with the Council and it is taking steps to tackle those landlords who have not responded to calls to apply for one.
Many unlicensed properties are not up to health and safety standards, poorly managed, overcrowded, often putting tenants at risk with substandard living conditions.
The Council has just issued its first civil penalty for £15,000 against a landlord who failed to licence their HMO property, despite several attempts by the Council to engage with them. The landlord has also been ordered to pay the licence fee of £1,885 as their HMO still needs to be licensed.
'People can move into a property with confidence'
Councillor Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Integrated Enforcement, said: "Properly regulated and licensed properties are good for both tenants and landlords. The Royal Borough of Greenwich is known for its excellent higher education facilities and we have a huge number of students who live in the borough so they can be near to where they study.
"Many of them will be sharing or renting rooms in an HMO but not many may know that their landlord should be licensed. Licensing a property means that people can move into a property with confidence, knowing that it's been licensed by Royal Greenwich and is in a condition which we all rightfully expect.
"I would encourage anyone who lives in a multi-let home to check that their prospective landlord is registered with us first, particularly students."