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Lewisham Council’s new additional landlord licensing scheme starts April 2022

Friday, November 26, 2021 - Lewisham Council

Lewisham additional licensing scheme 2022

Lewisham Council is introducing a new borough wide additional licensing scheme covering almost all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). The new licensing scheme starts on 5 April 2022.

The council’s current additional licensing scheme applies borough wide but is restricted to HMOs above commercial premises. It was introduced in February 2017 and ends on 10 February 2022.

Whereas the current additional licensing scheme covers an estimated 1,500 properties, the new scheme is far more extensive and could include around 6,000 properties.

The new scheme will require all HMOs to meet set standards for room sizes, health and safety, and property management, ensuring safe, secure and well-managed properties for tenants. Landlords will also be required to have clear plans in place to tackle any anti-social behaviour related to their properties.

With one in four Lewisham residents living in the private rented sector, extending HMO licensing is a key part of the council’s commitment to supporting private renters and ensuring there are more safe and secure homes in the borough.

According to the council, landlords will be provided with clear information about their obligations under the scheme and guidance on how to ensure their property is compliant.

The council have said every HMO will be inspected and assessed as part of the licensing process and all properties will be inspected at least once during the five-year licence period in order to ensure compliance.

The new scheme starts on 5 April 2022 and landlords who apply before that date will be eligible for a 20% early bird fee discount. With Lewisham having the highest ‘per bedroom’ licensing fee in London, this discount is sure to be welcomed.
 
Councillor Paul Bell, Lewisham’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning, said:

Private renters are often faced with unsafe or insecure accommodation - particularly those living in HMOs. Licensing all HMOs will help improve the quality of housing across Lewisham and provide more certainty for tenants and landlords.

As well as enabling us to work more closely with responsible landlords in the borough, the new scheme will help crack down on those who neglect their properties and fail to provide tenants with the safety and security they deserve.

Our free guide explaining the property licensing and HMO planning restrictions in the London Borough of Lewisham is available here.

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