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Richard Pulford

Dispute resolution

Richard Pulford, Associate Solicitor in the Dispute Resolution team, looks at the latest case of borough-wide licensing requirements and another reminder of the need for vigilance on the part of Landlords and managing agents.


New Licensing Scheme in Brent

Any Landlord and Managing agent in the Brent area, should hopefully already be fully aware of this, however, as of 1st April 2024, a new scheme is starting which requires all Landlords to make sure their property being let out to residential tenants, is suitably licensed. This is irrespective of the amount of occupiers.

Brent has historically taken an active role in enforcement, and a move like this should only go to reinforce this stance moving forwards. 

News of a civil penalty award on an unlicensed property in Haringey to a managing Agent comes at an opportune time to underscore the importance of these rules. Whilst many landlords will bemoan the further fees being put on them, particularly with the skyrocketing costs of everything else and uncertainty regarding the future with more roadblocks with the Renters Reform Bill, the licensing rules are not going anywhere. Amongst other reasons, the main selling point that is sent out with these schemes is that responsible landlords do not have anything to worry about, and they are only there to offer more oversight and ensure that properties are of a suitable standard.



Landlords and managing agents should not need further reminders of the ramifications of failing to comply with HMO licensing, although for extra revision you can revisit our previous blogs:

This update and practical example go to further illustrate the importance of staying vigilant. It is not enough just to have a basic understanding of mandatory licensing. 5 or more people, forming more than one household, is not the starting point for when you should be looking at your obligations. Regardless of where the Property is located, due diligence with the local authority should be undertaken at the beginning and periodically throughout the tenancy to ensure full and continued compliance.

This again shows the benefits of instructing a managing agent that knows the local area and keeps on top of these obligations so that landlords are kept protected.  If you let out a property in a particular area, the onus is on the landlord and managing agent to do this correctly, and being unaware is rarely a good defence. 

Whenever anyone is presented with a situation like this, either regarding the need to license or any breach, early advice is always recommended. If any landlords or managing agents find themselves in a situation like this and advice is required, please contact [email protected], and we will help where we can. 

Get in touch

If you have any questions relating to this article or have any legal disputes you would like to discuss, please contact the Dispute Resolution team.

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