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Age UK London are calling on Local Authorities in London to introduce selective property licensing schemes

In London an increasing number of older private renters are living in poor quality homes. Taking action now will help to protect the older private renters currently living in poor conditions and also improve conditions for the older private renters of tomorrow.

More property licensing schemes

Age UK London are calling for more Local Authorities to introduce selective property licensing schemes. Fewer than half of London’s Local Authorities currently use these schemes, which use proactive property inspections as well as enforcement practices to improve conditions. These schemes also help to ensure landlords are meeting their responsibilities to provide safe homes and increase awareness amongst renters about their rights as tenants.

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Five key reasons why we’re calling for more Selective Property Licensing:

1. Licensing schemes enable Local Authorities to check whether landlords are providing safe and healthy homes.

Landlords renting properties in license areas must meet license conditions that ensure homes are safe and present no risk to health. These license conditions cover the legal responsibilities landlords have to ensure gas and electrical installations are compliant with regulation and that appropriate fire safety precautions are made and known to tenants. Additional license conditions aim to ensure adequate waste storage and disposal arrangements as well as decent kitchen and bathroom facilities.

2. Licensing schemes enable Local Authorities to identify poor conditions through proactive inspections without the need for tenants to make formal complaints.

The balance of power in the private rented sector lies with landlords. Many private renters worry about making complaints and being seen as ‘problem tenants’, leaving them feeling vulnerable to retaliatory action including ‘no fault evictions’.

3. Licensing helps to uphold renter rights.

This happens because property licenses require landlords to comply with conditions such as proper deposit management, full tenancy agreements, and restrictions on who can and can’t collect the rent. These licensing conditions help tenants to feel more secure in their homes.

4. Licensing encourages landlords to make repairs in a timely manner.

Research has found that landlords of licensed properties are more likely to undertake repairs, as most licensing schemes have conditions to promote good management practice and require landlords to make their own property inspections.

5. Licensing makes landlords more aware of their responsibilities.

Research has found that engaging in the license application process increases awareness among landlords of their responsibilities.

Make your voice heard!

We know that there is an urgent need for action to protect older private renters in London but we can’t do it without you. Join the movement to protect older private renters!

Find out more about our campaign!

  • Make Renting Age-friendly!

    Find out all about our new campaign to protect the rights of older private renters in London.

  • Living in Fear

    Read our investigation into the experiences of older private renters in London, titled "Living in Fear".

  • Age-friendly Renting Blogs

    Keep up-to-date with the latest news and views on London's private rented sector on the Age UK London Blog!