Landlords in Slough are being warned of their rights if they do not sign up to a new licensing scheme to rent out rooms – in a move to clamp down on unsafe homes for tenants.

Under the scheme, which came into effect this month, tenants can claim back all the rent they have paid and cannot legally be evicted from a property by an unlicensed landlord.

Every landlord of a house in multiple occupation (HMO) in the borough – around 3,000 properties – needed the new licence from July 1.


Slough landlords need new licence to rent out houses - after cockroaches and rats found in homes

Under the new scheme, a landlord with any rental property within the designated area covering parts of Chalvey and Central wards, will also be required to apply for and obtain a licence.

It comes after properties in the borough were found in horrific conditions, including with cockroaches and rodent infestations, dangerous wiring and plumbing, a cardboard box used as a toilet and fly-tipping.

The aim of the new licensing system, brought in by Slough Borough Council (SBC), is to improve the standards of the thousands of houses and bedsits, people’s homes, and make tenants safe.

Landlords have to provide evidence their property is safe and has a valid gas safe certificate. They will also be required to provide contact details so tenants can get problems fixed and for neighbours to address any concerns with the house in their neighbourhood.

All qualifying landlords need to have a licence in place by October 1 or they face prosecution and fines of up to £30,000.

According to SBC, Slough has more than the national average of rental accommodation in the borough, which currently stands at 33 per cent.

In the Central and Chalvey wards, 50 per cent of all homes are privately rented accommodation.

Cllr Mohammed Nazir, cabinet member for housing and community safety, said: “This is not a money making scheme for the council. The fees are being ring fenced for the sole purpose of bringing up standards of properties in Slough.

“Over the past few months we have issued fines of almost £60,000 to landlords who have breached HMO management regulations and we are taking one landlord to civil court.

“Those who are the landlords of an HMO anywhere in the borough, or those whose properties fall into the selective licensing scheme, will be prosecuted unless they comply.

“This is about making accommodation in Slough habitable for sometimes the most vulnerable members of society.”

“Ultimately tenants can ask to see their landlord’s licence and if their landlord does not have one, the tenant is perfectly within their rights to claim any rent they have paid from July 1.

“Eviction notices are also invalid if produced by a landlord without a licence. It is in both the tenants’ and the landlords’ interest to get one by October 1.”

Licences can be applied for at and there is a map online which shows which roads are included in the scheme.