Harrow Landlord Licensing Scheme Proposals Could Force Landlords To Make Monthly Rental Property Visits
Harrow council’s decision to force private rental sector (PRS) landlords to make monthly inspections of their rental properties could be in breach of tenant rights, according to the National Landlord Association, (NLA).
Harrow Council’s Selective Landlord Licensing scheme comes into force on the 1st November 2015, and it is proposed that PRS landlords in Edgware will be required to make monthly inspections of their rental properties, disturbing the tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment of the property and creating extra work for landlords.The Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme will also mean that letting agents, landlords and their tenants must allow Harrow Council officials to undertake compliance checks with just 24 hours notice.
The Selective Landlord Licensing conditions will also make PRS landlords responsible for ensuring that all external areas of the rented property are fully maintained and kept in a reasonable state of cleanliness, including removing any bulky or non-domestic items of waste, regardless of whether the property is occupied or not.
The National Landlords Association (NLA) has warned that some of the licence conditions will lead to tenants feeling harassed and hounded in their homes, and it has branded the conditions unacceptable and unfair for landlords.
Gavin Dick, Local Authority Policy Officer, said: “Harrow Council has the powers it needs to deal with anti-social behaviour in the borough but instead of allocating funding for enforcement they’ve passed the buck by putting the responsibility onto landlords. While we agree that private rented properties must be kept up to standard, the local authorities conditions will essentially result in the harassment of tenants in their own homes. Monthly checks are simply unnecessary and could be considered as breaking a tenant’s ‘right to quiet enjoyment. Harrow Council has displayed an incredible lack of understanding of how private renting works. It’s not for the landlord to decide who can have access to their tenant’s home and when. Neither is it their responsibility to remove household waste, domestic or otherwise.”
Landlords already have an undeserved bad reputation thanks to the UK press but the Government is empowering local authorities to force landlords into an untenable position, they can be prosecuted for non compliance with the terms of the Selective Landlord Licensing Scheme, whilst landlords can also be open to prosecution for breaching the tenants right to quiet enjoyment of a rental property.
Come on Harrow Council, give landlords and their tenants a break!
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