Information for landlords and tenants

Housing

Alert

COVID-19 Private Sector Housing:

The government has brought forward a package of measures to protect renters affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). With these in force, no renter in either social or private accommodation will be forced out of their home.

Government advice for landlords and renters reflecting the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Information for landlords and tenants

In order to support the property licensing schemes we will continue to provide important information and advice to landlords and tenants through our web site, regular landlord forums and via email on propertylicensing@walthamforest.gov.uk.

The number of people renting private properties has increased steadily over the last decade and there are currently estimated to be 39,000 privately rented properties in the borough. This represents over 37% of homes in Waltham Forest.

This is a growing sector that provides affordable, flexible accommodation for our residents. We are committed to building a strong private rented sector and will continue to support responsible landlords and help tenants and residents understand the benefits of property licensing.

The implementation of property licensing has helped us to ensure that properties in this sector meet the necessary safety standards, are well maintained and are properly managed. We do this through a combination of reactive and proactive property inspections and document audits.

Property licensing provides an important framework in which we regulate the conditions and management practices in the private rented sector.  A number of Council departments and services will continue to work together with us to help deliver the schemes. These include:

Whilst we work with and support landlords who aim to comply with the regulations, we also have a zero-tolerance approach to landlords and agents who flout the law. Further information is in the Council’s Private Sector Housing Enforcement Policy.

Information for tenants Click to get info

Property licensing helps tenants and landlords by setting clear standards on the maintenance and management of properties. This helps to ensure that rental properties are kept in good condition and that they are safe.

We keep a register of all licensed properties in the borough. You can check to see if the property you live in is licensed here.

If you are concerned about the condition of the property you live in, you think your property may be unlicensed or you want to report an issue with a neighbouring rented property you can do so here.

Alternatively, please contact

If your landlord is failing to make the necessary repairs to your home, licensing can be used to make your landlord take action. It is also a criminal offence for landlords and managing agents to let out a property that is not properly licensed.  The Council can take enforcement action against landlords and in some cases can make a rent repayment order (RRO) for up to 12 months rental income against a landlord who has not licensed their property.

If you report a property to the Council, we will check whether it is licensed and may need to carry out an inspection to check on the condition and any work that needs to be carried out. Reasonable access may be required to enable this inspection of the property. Where possible and/or appropriate, you landlord will be notified of this.

If your landlord is failing to make the necessary repairs to your home, licensing can be used to make your landlord take action. It is also a criminal offence for landlords and managing agents to let out a property that is not properly licensed.  The Council can take enforcement action against landlords and in some cases a rent repayment order (RRO) for up to 12 months rental income can be made against a landlord who has not licensed their property.

If you report a property to the Council, we will check whether it is licensed and may need to carry out an inspection to check on the condition and what work may need to be carried out. Reasonable access may be required to enable this inspection of the property. Where possible and/or appropriate, you landlord will be notified of this.

Why does the property that I am renting need to be licensed?

  • Property licensing has a number of licence conditions that help to ensure that a property is in a good condition, that it is safe and that it is being suitably managed
  • Landlords must be considered to be a 'fit and proper' person who has agreed to abide by the conditions of their licence. This means that they should not have any criminal convictions or other reasons why they should not be renting out properties
  • Licensing gives some protection to tenants from eviction. Landlords are not allowed to evict tenants in order to avoid licensing. One of the aims of the licensing schemes is to maintain good tenancies and the Council will provide tenancy support for tenants threatened with eviction. If your landlord is threatening you with eviction, please contact us at propertylicensing@walthamforest.gov.uk.

Information for landlords Click to get info

We will provide information and advice to landlords to support them in meeting their obligation to provide good quality rental accommodation for their tenants.

If you are a landlord, you can find out more about property licensing at our quarterly landlord forums or sign-up for our landlord email newsletter.

As a property licence holder you will need to comply with the licence conditions and property standards for the type of licence you hold. These ensure that important safety measures are in place and that landlords and agents need to deal effectively with issues including any anti-social behaviour arising from the occupation of rented houses.

Please read our Standards for Private Rented Property in Waltham Forest. This document is intended to guide landlords about the standard of repair that we expect from privately rented accommodation. The guidance is aimed at houses and self-contained flats occupied by a single household. It covers reasonable repair and provides information regarding space standards and housing hazards. There are additional Property Standards required for HMOs.

There is further information available on Property licensing in the borough and your responsibilities as a landlord (including licence exemptions, licence conditions, health & safety requirements).

Landlord forums Click to get info

If you’re a landlord or letting agent, you can get practical support at quarterly landlord forums. You can: 

  • speak to council officers and guest speakers about housing issues
  • learn more about your landlord responsibilities and requirements

The forums are free to attend.

The date of the next Landlord Forum has not yet been decided. Booking details will be circulated in the email newsletter. It is likely this will be a virtual forum so social distancing is maintained.

Take part in Thames Water's smart metering landlord survey.

See presentations from past forums

You can look at past forums and download their presentations below.

Landlord forum 16 July 2020

This was a virtual forum to maintain social distancing.

Landlord forum 11 February 2020

Landlord forum 29 October 2019

Landlord forum, 16 July 2019

Landlord forum, 6 February 2019

Landlord forum, 16 October 2018

Landlord forum, 19 June 2018

Landlord forum, 20 February 2018

Landlord forum, 24 October 2017

Landlord forum, 3 August 2017

Landlord forum, 31 January 2017

Landlord forum, 12 October 2016

Landlord forum, 28 June 2016

Landlord forum, 21 March 2016

Landlord forum, 8 December 2015

Download the presentations

Landlord forum, 22 September 2015

Download the presentations

Landlords forum, 1 July 2015

Download the presentations

Landlords forum, 30 July 2014

Download the presentations

Landlords forum, 8 July 2013.

Download the presentations

Landlords forum, 18 September 2012

Download the presentations

Private landlords with property licences have a responsibility to prevent and combat anti-social behaviour (ASB).

We want to reduce incidences of anti-social behaviour from tenants in private rented accommodation. For this reason, a property licencing comes with a set of conditions that landlords must comply with. As a general guide, landlords are responsible for ensuring that anti-social behaviour is addressed at the earliest opportunity and dealt with appropriately.

We expect landlords to actively work to prevent, identify and stop ASB. Landlords can do this by following these guidelines:

Prevent - by adhering to the conditions attached to the licence (see 'licence conditions' below)

Identify - by making the checks required under the conditions of the licence (see 'licence conditions' below)

Stop - informing the tenants of the consequences and then taking appropriate action if they are ignored:

  • in mild or one-off cases - issuing a written warning to say the landlord may take action to seek possession if ASB is repeated
  • in more severe cases - taking immediate possession proceedings to end the tenancy

What is anti-social behaviour by a tenant?

A tenant’s anti-social behaviour is any activity that causes harm to the community or to the environment. This includes any action that leaves neighbours, or others in the community:

  • feeling alarmed, harassed or distressed
  • in fear of crime or concerned for public safety
  • experiencing public disorder or public nuisance

Examples of tenant’s anti-social behaviour include:

  • being nuisance, rowdy or inconsiderate neighbours
  • vandalism, graffiti and fly-posting
  • environmental damage such as littering, dumping rubbish and abandoning cars
  • activities related to prostitution
  • misuse of fireworks
  • inconsiderate or inappropriate use of vehicles

There are conditions of property licences that relate specifically to anti-social behaviour of tenants.

Licence conditions and landlord responsibilities

For tenancies that began after 1 April 2015, landlords must get references for proposed new tenants

And provide tenants with written rental terms and conditions. These must include:

  • a statement that no refuse/rubbish must be kept in the front or rear gardens, other than in any refuse storage facilities provided
  • a clause holding the occupants responsible for any anti-social behaviour by themselves and/or their visitors. The landlord must let all occupants know about this clause as soon as they move in

For all tenancies landlords must:

  • ensure that yards and gardens are maintained in reasonable repair and are kept in a clean and tidy condition and free from infestations
  • make regular inspections to ensure the property is in a decent state of repair and that aren’t any breaches of the tenancy terms and conditions
  • ensure that rubbish we don’t routinely collect (such as large items or hazardous waste) is disposed of responsibly and safely
  • respond to complaints of ASB that concern occupants or their visitors
  • inform the tenant within 14 days after discovering ASB, notifying them of the of consequences they may face if it doesn’t stop
  • keep records of correspondence and/ or written notes relating to ASB for five years period. If we request to see details, landlords should make them available to us

Specific responsibilities: rubbish disposal

At the beginning of a tenancy, the landlord should:

  • make tenants aware of the correct ways to dispose of rubbish and recycling - through our household rubbish and recycling services
  • ensure there are enough bins (and other rubbish and recycling receptacles from our range) at the property - particularly where there are lots of people living in the property

Landlords should also respond promptly and appropriately to any issues identified by us, such as fly-tipping or repeated contamination of recycling bins with non-recyclable rubbish

Specific responsibilities: premises operating as brothels

We view premises operating as brothels as a most serious form of anti-social behaviour. Many standard tenancy agreements contain a clause that prohibits a property being used for ‘illegal or immoral purposes’.

If a landlord or their agent determines that their rented property is being used as a brothel or for an ‘illegal or immoral’ purpose, we expect them to take immediate steps to end the tenancy.

If landlords fail to deal with ASB - our powers

We have a variety of powers that we use to combat incidences of ASB.

Our officers can provide advice and assistance to landlords, their tenants and the wider neighbourhood, to address issues.

However, we can take formal action against landlords who fail to satisfactorily deal with their tenants’ ASB.

Reducing ASB

Our officers carry out a range of activities to support a reduction in ASB from privately rented homes. These include:

  • investigating complaints, speaking to neighbours and alleged perpetrators
  • arranging/ facilitating/ attending meetings with landlords/ agents, tenants and external agencies such as the police, with a view to resolving ASB
  • investigating ASB pro-actively - such as looking into fly-tipping hotspots
  • highlighting ASB issues to landlords - such as if a tenant is identified as causing a noise nuisance
  • providing general legal advice to landlords and tenants – such as about the eviction procedure
  • providing guidance to landlords – such as our example warning letters, they can download and send to tenants causing ASB
  • monitoring a landlord’s response and effectiveness in resolving identified ASB
  • taking strong and appropriate enforcement action wherever necessary

Formal action against landlords

If the ASB issues are serious, or identified ASB issues aren’t satisfactorily dealt with, we will consider one or more formal actions. These may include:

  • serving a formal notice – such as for dealing with noise or rubbish disposal issues
  • prosecution for breach of licence conditions (if the property is licensed)
  • imposing financial penalties or starting prosecution proceedings
  • refusing a property licence application
  • revoking a property licence

Please note, it's an offence to let out a licensable property without a licence.

Landlord template letters

As a private landlord you can benefit from letting your property to people who are looking for a home and have approached the council for housing assistance.

We are looking for homes in Waltham Forest, across London and throughout the country.

If your property is in London, please contact our procurement partners, Capital Letters Ltd

If your property is outside of London, please contact our Private Sector Lettings Team

How you'll benefit as a landlord

Financial incentives

You can get a cash incentive for properties in London and surrounding areas.

Full tenancy checks and tenant finding service

Prospective tenants will be fully checked to ensure that there is no history of rent arrears or anti-social behaviour.

Free property accreditation

We will inspect your property and advise of any works required to meet letting standards.

Landlord insurance

Waltham Forest has successfully secured central government funding for an insurance product for landlords of London properties, which is available via Capital Letters.

  • indemnify landlords against rent loss (up to 6 weeks max)
  • cover for any malicious damage to their properties
  • cover legal costs

For more information about the insurance product, please email: info@capitalletters.org.uk

What you will need to provide

Before we can use your property, we will need to inspect your property and you will need to provide us with the following:

  • Proof of property ownership
  • Licensing certificate where applicable
  • An Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)
  • A Gas Safety Certificate
  • An Electrical Safety Certificate

Getting landlord accredited provides protection for you and your tenants by making sure you get the right training to run your business.

How to get a landlord accreditation

If you are a private landlord, you can get accreditation through the London Landlord Accreditation Scheme (LLAS).

To become an accredited landlord, you must:

What the accreditation involves

The accreditation covers a development training course on housing laws and how to:

  • avoid problems when running a rental business
  • sort out problems when they occur

Why you should become an accredited landlord

Accreditation allows you to learn how to become a good landlord and run a successful business. Tenants are more likely to rent properties from a landlord who holds a recognised accreditation.

Contact us

Housing Standards
Sycamore House
Rear of Walthamstow Town House
Forest Road
Walthamstow
E17 4SU