A London borough has taken the first steps towards mandatory landlord licensing with the introduction of a rental standard. ...

Southwark Council adopted a set of minimum standards for private rented sector landlords yesterday and will first apply it to homes used for its own temporary accommodation.

It will roll the standard out more widely over the coming months, before introducing a compulsory licensing scheme for the borough’s PRS landlords.

The standard includes services provided to tenants, repairs and maintenance, and the condition of the property. It draws together existing duties and good practice.

Mark Williams, deputy cabinet member for PRS, said: ‘We want to drive standards up across the borough by encouraging landlords to meet a certain standard, and over time we will make that a requirement of operating in the borough, through a new licensing scheme.

‘The new standard will be hugely important in improving conditions initially for some of Southwark’s most vulnerable tenants who need temporary accommodation, and over the coming years we want to make our borough a better place to live for all private sector tenants. Everyone living in Southwark deserves to live in a home that is warm, dry and safe.

Newham Council became the first in the country to introduce mandatory licensing, which came into force in the east London borough on January 1.

[Pete Apps,, 11 December 2013]