Council consults on poor housing and ASB in private rented sector

Merton Council has launched a consultation on plans to introduce new licensing schemes for privately rented properties and houses in multiple occupation (HMOs), as well as new planning controls for HMOs, in some parts of Merton.

Merton has more than 29,000 rented properties per capita, exceeding the national average, and is committed to tackling the many instances of anti-social behaviour, poor housing conditions and other issues arising from poorly managed properties.

Council proposals, which would cover Figge’s Marsh, Graveney, Longthornton, Pollards Hill, Colliers Wood, Cricket Green and Lavender Fields, aim to increase the number of good landlords and significantly reduce the number of rogue landlords.

The licensing and planning proposals aim to improve housing conditions for those living in private rented accommodation and reduce anti-social behaviour resulting from badly managed HMOs.

Further details of the consultation and the areas it applies to are available on the council’s website.

Residents, tenants, businesses, private landlords and managing agents who live, work or have a connection to the areas under consideration, including those living in neighbouring boroughs with an interest in the scheme, are all invited to complete the online questionnaire, give suggestions and share their views before January 22nd 2023.

An independent consultation company, Opinion Research Services (ORS), will be gathering feedback as well as running a selection of forums to give landlords, managing or letting agents, and all interested parties an opportunity to discuss the proposal.

Councillor Andrew Judge, Cabinet Member for Housing and Sustainable Development, said: “Merton is a brilliant place to live, but some rogue landlords are taking advantage of the demand for housing by renting badly managed and poorly maintained properties.

“We are determined that Merton residents living in rented accommodation have a home that is in good condition and is well managed, and that no resident has to endure the anti-social behaviour caused by overcrowded, poorly managed properties.

“Our consultation offers communities the opportunity to have their say on our proposals to better regulate the private rented sector, leading to more good landlords and well-managed homes.”