There are concerns that tenants in the London borough of Harrow could be harassed with the introduction of the local council’s new licensing scheme.
The scheme will see landlords required to make monthly inspections of their properties, once it is enforced on the 1st November 2015. This means that both landlords and tenants will be forced to allow the council to make compliance checks with just 24 hours’ notice.
Harrow Council’s Selective Licensing scheme will see landlords responsible for making sure that external areas of properties are maintained to a high state of cleanliness. This will include the removal of any non-domestic items of waste.
However, the National Landlords Association is warning that particular licensing conditions will lead to some tenants feeling harassed in their homes, branding the conditions as unacceptable and unfair for landlords.
Gavin Dick, a Local Authority Policy Officer commented, ‘the Council has the powers it needs to deal with anti-social behavior in the borough but instead of allocating funding for enforcement they’ve passed the buck by putting the responsibility onto landlords.’
Harrow Council’s scheme changes lead to concern
‘While we agree that private rented properties must be kept up to standard, the Council’s conditions will essentially result in the harassment of tenants in their own homes,’ Dick continued. ‘Monthly checks are simply unnecessary and could be considered as breaking a tenant’s right to quiet enjoyment.’
Concluding, Dick said that the Council had displayed, ‘an incredible lack of understanding of how private housing works.’ He went on to say, ‘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.