Melissa York, Reporter
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Private landlords have until the end of today to apply for a property licence - or they face fines of up to £20,000 per property.
From tomorrow, landlords who have not applied for a licence will be committing an offence and will be subject to enforcement action from Newham Council.
The scheme - which came into force on January 1 - is the first attempt in the country to regulate all private properties in an effort to stamp out rogue landlords and poor housing conditions.
So far, 26,000 applications have been made by private landlords.
The council estimates there are 35,000 private tenancies in the borough and they extended their original deadline by a month to encourage every landlord to sign up.
Applicants are charged £150 for a five-year licence if they register before the end of the month otherwise the full fee is £500.
Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales said: “Good landlords have nothing to fear from this scheme. For the bad ones, this is a clear message they must clean up their act - or pay the price.
“One bad house can drag down a whole street. We are doing this for the community.”
The scheme has received support from housing charity Shelter.