An advice website has claimed that more than half of privately rented properties in a selective licensing region imposed by a council in London do not have the appropriate licence.
This alarming claims comes over four months after the scheme came into force.
Research by London Property Licensing has uncovered the issue in Tower Hamlets.
On the first of October last year the council brought in the scheme for three wards in the west of the borough. This regime corresponds to all private homes in the boundaries whether they are houses or flats let to an individual, family or are in multiple occupation.
The application fee for a licence is £520 to £660 per property. In common with similar schemes across Britain, until an application is submitted, the landlord and/or letting agent are committing an offence if they let out a property in the selective region. This covers around 6,000 private rental units.
Responding to a Freedom of Information request, Tower Hamlets council told the website that as of last month, just 2,100 applications have been received by the council. 1,000 have already been approved.
Are thousands of London lets defying licensing rules?
London Property Licensing said: ‘Based in the council’s own estimates, there could be around 3,900 private rented homes in the west of the borough where no selective licence application has yet been submitted-accounting for almost two thirds of all private rented homes in the area’
The website also says that there are now 23 different property licensing schemes operating in the capital.
Richard Tacagni, Managing Director of London Property Licensing, said: ‘The myriad of schemes operating across London is becoming a major headache for landlords and letting agents as they struggle to understand what rules apply where.’