The Residential Landlords’ Association (RLA) has submitted its objections to Haringey Council’s proposals for a landlord licensing scheme for homes in multiple occupancy (HMOs) in Tottenham.
The additional licensing scheme would cover all HMO properties in Tottenham Hale, Tottenham Green, Bruce Grove, Seven Sisters and Northumberland Park; and require landlords to apply for a licence before they could let their HMOs to tenants.
Haringey Council claims the licensing scheme is necessary to combat issues such as overcrowding, anti-social behaviour, and “rogue landlords”.
However, the RLA believes the scheme will do nothing to solve overcrowding – which it says has been caused by the failure of social housing providers to create more affordable accommodation – and that the problem of anti-social behaviour has been exaggerated.
The RLA is also adamant that “rogue landlords” will simply ignore the licensing scheme and continue to operate under the radar.
It says the proposed scheme will simply hit good landlords with another regulatory cost, and result in a costly exercise in box-ticking that could create an additional burden on local council taxpayers.
The RLA believes that instead of implementing costly licensing legislation Haringey Council should be properly enforcing the 100 laws and 400 regulations that currently exist to manage the private rented sector, and work more closely with landlords to promote accreditation and training.
Richard Ashton, the RLA’s policy and communications manager, said: “The RLA has a lot of sympathy for the situation Haringey faces with overcrowding. However, a HMO licensing scheme will not resolve this problem. What’s needed is a better supply of affordable property in the social sector.
“In addition, the council’s own statistics suggest that almost 88% of HMO tenants are satisfied with their homes, and that the number of daily incidents of anti-social behaviour connected to HMO properties in Tottenham is negligible. Furthermore, criminal landlords, operating outside the private rented sector, will simply take no notice of the new licensing scheme.
“Instead, Haringey should be using the powers it currently has to properly police the private rented sector, whilst working with the vast majority of good landlords to promote accreditation and training.”