Labour Councillors in Westminster have called for the establishment of a compulsory register of private landlords after the Council revealed that;
- 1,712 rented properties in the private sector were inspected by its residential environmental health officers in 2011/12, resulting in 206 legal notices being served.
- Council officers also removed 771 hazards in the properties, including causes of excess cold, dampness, and fire and fall hazards in homes
- As a result of the inspections, 111 shared houses of multiple occupation (HMOs) were improved, 461 homes were made decent and 7 prosecutions were made.
Westminster has one of the largest private rented sectors in the UK at an estimated 40% of the 109,000 homes in the borough, according to recent census results.
Councillor Paul Dimoldenberg, Leader of the Labour Group, said;
“The scale of the problems found by the Council’s inspectors is very worrying and there are strong arguments for the Council to establish a compulsory landlord registration scheme so that all landlords have to meet certain basic standards before they are allowed to let property. Westminster has the highest concentration of private flats in the UK and proper regulation is needed if tenants are to be properly protected from the minority of bad landlords.”