22 Jan 2020
An investigation was launched this morning into the safety of residents in 10 rented properties operating without landlord licences.
Officers from Slough Borough Council knocked on the doors of the 10 properties simultaneously at 5am to examine the living conditions in the houses on Alexandra Road, Chalvey.
All the terraced homes are owned by the same people who have not obtained a Landlord Licence which they are required to do since new legislation came into affect on 1 June, 2019.
The landlords were obliged to obtain licences under both HMO and selective licencing as Chalvey is a selective area.
All the properties were inspected by housing enforcement officers and the tenants interviewed. Gas and electrical engineers were also on standby if safety issues were found.
Of the 10 properties, the majority were found to have problems with gas or electric supplies, two properties were found to be undeclared houses in multiple occupation (HMO), another had issue with design of a kitchen in an enclosed space and another has been deemed unsafe to live in and emergency work has to take place this morning.
Ian Blake, resilience and enforcement manager, said: “The focus of this operation was the safety of the tenants living in these properties.
“Without a landlord licence there is no guarantee a home is safe and, as we have found this morning, there could be multiple problems meaning tenants, in this case including children, are being put at risk.
“The landlord of these houses has not been fulfilling his duty to his tenants and now could be taken to court and substantially fined.”
He added: “Landlords who think they can get away without a licence and housing tenants in substandard properties should beware; it could be their doors we are knocking on next.”
Neighbouring homes will be informed of the inspections and encouraged to talk to officers if they have any concerns.
If any tenant in a rented property in Slough is concerned their home doesn’t have a landlord licence they should contact the housing regulation team on 01753 475111 option 3 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The operation was supported by Thames Valley Police.
Slough Borough Council instituted landlord licensing from 1 June 2019 after extensive consultation to tackle poor quality rented accommodation in the borough.
In the Additional Licence scheme each HMO property of up to six rooms will attract a £450 licence. There will be an additional charge of £30 per extra room after the initial six.
Applications for the Selective Licensing Scheme, for all rental properties within a designated area, will be subject to a charge of just £200.
Each property in both schemes is subject to an additional enforcement fee of £300 per property.
All licences last for five years.
Tenants whose landlord does not have a licence when they should, are legally entitled to claim back any rent paid from 1 June 2019 until the licence is granted.
Licences can be applied for here and there is a map online which shows which roads are included in the selective licensing scheme.