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A London borough has begun moves to set up a licensing scheme for all private landlords.

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Newham has started a 10-week consultation on the proposals, and will then consider whether the scheme should go ahead.

If the scheme gains the green light the council claims it will be the first borough in England to license all private landlords.

Newham estimates around a third of households in the borough are in the private rented sector, numbering around 35,000 homes. It has already piloted a smaller scale licensing scheme, and has set up a team to tackle illegal ‘sheds’ that can be used as housing.

Sir Robin Wales, mayor of Newham, said: ‘We want to ensure that private sector rented properties are well managed and meet a good standard. We also want to deal with the crime and anti-social behaviour that is sometimes associated with bad private sector rented housing.

‘There are good landlords in Newham and we want to work with them. Unfortunately there are also some unscrupulous ones – which these proposals would target.’

In a recent interview with Inside Housing, Sir Robin revealed< the council is also considering setting itself up as a private landlord to tackle poor quality housing in the sector.

Kay Boycott, director of communications, policy and campaigns at Shelter, welcomed the proposed licensing scheme.

She said: ‘We urge other local councils to follow Newham’s lead in sending a clear signal that enforcing the law against rogue landlords is a priority.’

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