Enfield Council cabinet members passed plans on Wednesday night to introduce compulsory licensing for landlords despite stiff opposition.
Under the scheme landlords will have to obtain a five-year licence from Enfield Council costing £500 for each property they own. Landlords who sign up before next April can get an early bird discount of £250.
The council believes that drawing up a landlords’ register will tackle antisocial behaviour, poor standards of homes, overcrowding and missed rubbish collections.
Local landlords opposed licensing and presented the cabinet with a petition containing 1,860 signatures. Because the landlords’ petition received more than 1,562 signatures, (0.5% of the borough’s population), it will be debated further by councillors on the overview and scrutiny committee on April 30.
Landlord Graham Collier told councillors: “The report does not show that private rented households cause antisocial behaviour. It is unreliable and statistically invalid.”
Ahmet Oykener, cabinet member for housing, said “I am encouraged by what you have said. Our intention is not to punish landlords, but to work together.”
The scheme is supported by Jill Harrison, chief executive of Enfield Citizens’ Advice Bureau. She said: “Something needs to be done to improve things in the private rented sector and if you are a good landlord you will not have anything to fear. I think it will benefit both landlords and tenants. It’s in everyone’s interest if properties are managed properly.”
Conservative councillors are opposed to the scheme.