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Introduction

We are consulting on plans to implement a landlord licensing scheme to certain wards for private rented properties. This proposal would introduce a ‘selective licensing scheme’ to extend licensing to all private rented properties other than houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).

HMOs of 5 or more people from 2 or more households already need to be licensed under separate mandatory HMO schemes.  We are also seeking to introduce an ‘additional licensing scheme’ into those and other wards which will extend the mandatory licensing scheme to all HMOs.

Additionally, we are proposing to introduce further planning controls (an ‘article 4 direction’) for small HMOs in the same wards meaning that planning permission will be required for all HMOs within those wards, whatever their size.

We want to hear from 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.

The private rented sector in Merton

We are committed to improving housing conditions in the private rented sector (PRS); and to tackling the many instances of anti-social behaviour, poor housing conditions, and other issues that arise from poorly managed rented properties and in particular HMOs.

The PRS is an important part of our housing stock and is growing rapidly in Merton. Whilst many landlords operate within guidelines, there are also others who do not, often taking advantage of some of the most vulnerable members of our community. This leads to issues affecting health and safety, the wider community, as well as the environment.

Our proposal

For full details of our proposals, please read our consultation document:

Landlord Licensing and HMO Planning Controls Consultation

We strongly believe that it is necessary to pursue every action we can to address the many issues and complaints received from the growth of the PRS in Merton and poorly managed private sector properties.

We are working on a strategy that will include the potential introduction of selective and additional licensing; the potential introduction of an article 4 direction; as well as targeted and effective enforcement.

This is consistent with our ambition to build pride in Merton and the themes of:

  • clean streets and environment
  • sustainable future
  • high streets and communities

Where these proposals would apply

The proposed selective licensing scheme, additional licensing scheme and the article 4 direction would cover the following wards:

  • Figge’s Marsh
  • Graveney
  • Longthornton
  • Pollards Hill

In addition to the above four wards, additional licensing and the article 4 direction would also cover:

  • Colliers Wood
  • Cricket Green
  • Lavender Fields

You can view maps and find out which ward you live in on our Wards page.

Map

Who would benefit and how

Through the introduction of these measures, we intend to

  • Improve housing conditions for those in the private sector
  • Reduce significant and persistent problems caused by anti-social behaviour
  • Increase the number of good landlords and significantly reduce the number of rogue landlords

Complete our questionnaire

We are seeking feedback, opinions and suggestions from tenants, owner-occupiers, other residents, landlords, businesses, letting or managing agents and any other interested parties. We have hired an independent consultation company, Opinion Research Services (ORS), to gather your feedback.

To have your say, please complete the online questionnaire by 22 January 2023.

Start the questionnaire

If you have a disability, you may find the accessible version of the survey easier to use. If you need any additional assistance in completing the questionnaire for accessibility reasons, then please contact ORS on info@ors.org.uk or by telephone on 0800 324 7005 and someone will be able to assist. Lines are open from 9am to 5pm Monday-Friday; a voicemail service is available outside these hours.

Details of ORS’s privacy policy can be found here: ORS Privacy Notice.

For a copy of the paper questionnaire or to request a copy in any other format, please email translationservicebookings@merton.gov.uk or call 020 8545 3397 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm).

If you would like to make a direct representation to us for the article 4 direction only, please email future.merton@merton.gov.uk. All representations must be received by 22 January 2023.

Attend a forum or meeting

We will be running a selection of forums to give landlords and managing or letting agents an opportunity to discuss the proposal.

  • Afternoon virtual forum for landlords and managing or letting agents
  • Evening in-person forum for landlords and managing or letting agents

Forums will be held in early January 2023. If you would like to register your interest, please complete the online form:
Register your interest in attending a forum

What happens after the consultation

Once the consultation period has ended, ORS will feedback on the views from individual members of the public and organisations in a report. The views from individual members of the public will be anonymous, but views from organisations may be attributed in full. The report of the consultation will be published on this page once all responses have been received and reviewed (expected to be March or April 2023). The feedback gathered will help us make a decision about these initiatives.

Supporting documents