A scheme that will require landlords in a London borough to buy a five-year private rental license has been approved by the government.

While councils across the country have introduced similar license schemes, this is the first of its kind to be backed by Westminster.

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It means that all privately rented property in the London borough of Barking and Dagenham will need to be licensed and comply with strict conditions.

The all-Labour council’s current licensing for private rented property is due to end on August 31 and will be replaced by the new five-year property licensing scheme on September 1, affecting around 20,000 households in the borough.

The private rental sector has boomed in the borough in the last five years and now makes up 27% of the Barking and Dagenham’s housing, a significant proportion accommodating many of the areas vulnerable people, including families.

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Barking and Dagenham council claim the current licensing scheme, introduced five years ago, has prompted 70 prosecutions and the serving of 570 enforcement notices requiring properties to be made safe.

A spokesperson for the council said the new government-backed scheme will build on this success and help further tackle rogue landlords and crackdown on antisocial behaviour and overcrowding.

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