'Protect tenants or face action’ - thousands more private renters to get protection from rogue landlords

Landlords of more than 5,000 homes must register for a license and ensure their tenants have good quality housing or face prosecution, under a new Islington Council scheme. 

All private landlords in Finsbury Park, Tollington and Hillrise wards – where there are particular problems with poor conditions – must sign up and make their homes up to standard. 

Nearly a third of properties in Islington are privately rented, and the council is committed to doing everything it can to protect renters and ensure they have a safe place to call home. Around 3 in 4 renters who responded to a consultation on the plans supported them. 

Council enforcement officers have been deluged with thousands of complaints in the area about disrepair, damp and mould, inadequate facilities and safety issues. 

Landlords who fail to meet licence conditions may get a criminal conviction and an unlimited fine, or be issued with a financial penalty of up to £30,000 for each condition breached. 

The selective licensing scheme, approved by the council’s Executive on Thursday, will cover 5,400 homes in the three wards, tripling the old Finsbury Park scheme it replaces. It applies to all privately rented houses or flats in the three wards that are occupied by a single person, two people sharing, or any number of people forming a single household.  

Cllr Una O’Halloran, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Homes and Communities, said: “We want everyone in Islington to have a safe, decent and genuinely affordable place to call home, and we will stand up for private renters let down by the Government.  

“While the vast majority of Islington’s landlords are responsible and let good quality homes, renters have told us that many others are riddled with safety and other issues, while their rent continues to soar. 

“This new licensing scheme will mean landlords must do more in hazard hotspots to protect tenants – or face action from our enforcement team.” 

Government rules mean the council can only introduce a licensing scheme that covers up to 20% of the borough without applying to ministers for special permission.  

The new scheme is set to come into force in January 2024, following a statutory notification process. Islington has two other separate landlord licensing schemes to protect private renters who live in shared accommodation. More details are available on the council’s website

Notes to editors

For more information about the selective licensing scheme for Finsbury Park, Tollington and Hillrise wards see the report to Islington Council's Executive on Thursday 20 July

Contact information

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