The London Property Licence Checker
The Mayor of London has launched the London Property Licence Checker. This is an online tool for private renters. Tenants can now check whether their rental property has a correct licence in place.
Licencing schemes are used by local authorities to enforce appropriate living standards in private rented properties. As living standards are regulated by law, licencing schemes help to execute those laws.
Property licencing in London is very complicated. There are over 35 licencing schemes in operations and new ones are being developed. The Greater London Authority hope that with the implementation of the London Property Licence Checker it will be easier for tenants to check whether their landlords have applied for appropriate licences.
How does it work?
The property licence checker can be used to check whether a property needs a licence at all. It also sends a tenant to the relevant local authority website where a tenant can find out if the licence is in place if it’s needed.
The checker is easy to use. Moreover, it only takes a couple of minutes to complete a check. First, tenants are asked to input their postcode. Then, they choose their address from a drop-down menu. Next, they answer a few simple questions.
However, the website does not confirm if a licence is in place or whether an application has been submitted. It only confirms if a licence is needed or not. If it is needed, the checker sends a tenant to the relevant local authority website.
Unfortunately, not all boroughs publish their licenced properties on their websites. It follows, that it is not always easy to find out if the licence is actually in place. If there are any concerns, a tenant can call or email the relevant council and ask. This will give boroughs knowledge that potentially there is an unlicensed property. Moreover, it will help them target rogue landlords.
Unfortunately, the property checker is not perfect, yet. As it turns out, the checker is reasonably accurate, but it does happen that the results are not always correct. For this reason, it is advisable to not rely on the property checker solely for compliance purposes. Agents and landlords are advised to always do all of the necessary due diligence.
To find out more and to try the London Property Checker, please click here.
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