A licensing scheme aimed at improving the quality of private rented homes in Brent will run for at least another five years.

Brent Council agreed to continue its ‘additional licensing scheme’ which means all shared homes with three or more people will need a licence.

Under UK law, all homes with five or more unrelated people need a houses in multiple occupation (HMO) licence. Brent Council’s scheme extends this regulation to shared homes with fewer tenants.

The council said such laws allow it to “drive up housing standards” in the private rented sector and protect vulnerable tenants from exploitation.

Landlords will have to pay £840 per application, with the scheme coming into effect early next year.

Cllr Eleanor Southwood, responsible for housing and welfare reform at Brent Council, said: “The safety of the third of Brent residents who rent privately is a priority for us.

“Landlord licensing enables us to work with landlords across the borough to drive up standards.

“The majority of landlords in Brent want to do the right thing and our landlord forums are a chance to share good practice.

“I’m delighted that 80 per cent of people who responded to the consultation support renewing our borough-wide scheme for smaller houses of multiple occupation (HMOs).

“By doing this, we’ll be able to continue to support landlords and hold them to account for the quality of the homes they provide.”

The council is also seeking government approval to extend its ‘selective licensing’ scheme, which requires landlords to license all private rented homes irrespective of size and the number of tenants.

It already runs selective licensing in Wembley Central, Harlesden and Willesden Green.

There are plans to extend the scheme to Queensbury, Fryent and Brondesbury Park, Barnhill and Welsh Harp, and Northwick Park, Preston, Tokyngton, Alperton and Sudbury.