Landlords will be vetted by the council before being allowed to rent out their properties.

Waltham Forest Council is due to role out its selective licensing scheme for landlords again, following approval from the Government.

The scheme is due to come into effect on April 1, 2020 and will see the council deciding whether or not they believe landlords are fit to rent their properties out in the borough or not.

More than one in three residents in the borough are renting in the private sector and the scheme aims to protect these tenants.

The scheme ensures landlords adhere to conditions regarding safety and property management or their licence will be revoked.

A consultation was held earlier this year to determine whether or not the scheme should be rolled out again.

Residents were asked if they wanted a selective licensing scheme covering 18 of the borough’s wards, but excluding Hatch Lane and Endlebury or whether they wanted a scheme across the borough.

More than 50 per cent of respondents agreed with the council’s proposals to reintroduce the scheme

Another question saw 50 per cent of respondents said there would be a negative impact on anti-social behaviour when the current scheme ended, without a new scheme in place.

The existing borough wide selective licensing scheme for privately rented property came into force on April 1 2015.

Since then the Council has made interventions to safeguard the comfort and safety of tenants.

Since 2015 the council has:

  • issued more than 100 Civil Penalties,
  • issued more than 40 interim management orders,
  • improved 3,000 privately rented properties
  • pursued 94 successful prosecutions, resulting in more than £300,000 in court-imposed fines.

Cllr Louise Mitchell and deputy leader Cllr Clyde Loakes called on the housing minister to determine its submission for a new scheme quickly – the scheme can only be rolled out if Government approves it.

Cllr Louise Mitchell, cabinet member for housing, said: “We have been at the forefront of protecting our residents living in the private rented sector by using our licensing scheme to effectively drive up standards. Licensing has the wide spread backing of key stakeholders who have seen first hand the difference it can make to the lives of residents.

“While we have made tremendous progress in the last few years, there is still more work to do. With more of our residents now renting privately, it is so vitally important that we have the powers to tackle non-compliant landlords, who pay no regard to the rules and exploit vulnerable tenants by letting out overcrowded, unsuitable and dangerous properties.

“It would be entirely wrong and a backward step for private renters rights if government was to deny us the right to continue with this effective scheme which tackles criminal landlords and protects vulnerable individuals and families within the private rented sector.”