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Southwark Council’s additional and selective landlord licensing schemes have ended

Monday, January 4, 2021 - Southwark Council

SouthwarkProperty news - Southwark Council's property licensing schemes ended 31 December 2020

Additional and selective licensing schemes in the London Borough of Southwark ended on 31 December 2020.

The two licensing schemes came into force on 1 January 2016 and have been in force for the last five years.

The additional licensing scheme extended licensing to all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) throughout the borough.

The selective licensing scheme extended licensing to all private rented properties in seventeen distinct areas covering about 134 streets.

The two licensing schemes had extended licensing to an estimated 15,000 properties. Both these schemes have now ended.

Southwark propose to implement new licensing schemes

On 7 April 2020, Southwark Council’s Cabinet approved plans to develop new additional and selective licensing schemes.

A public consultation exercise was due to be carried out last year but this seems to have been delayed by the COVID19 pandemic. London Property Licensing understands the council are currently reviewing the proposals and deciding how best to move forwards.

If the council decide to implement new property licensing schemes, they must first undertake a public consultation exercise with all interested parties for at least 10 weeks and consider the feedback received.

If new schemes are then approved, a scheme designation must be made at least three months before new schemes come into force. It is therefore unlikely any new licensing schemes could start before Summer 2021.

Expiry date on some existing licences have been extended

During 2019, London Property Licensing understands that existing additional and selective licences were being varied to extend the expiry date on each licence.

Initially, many licences had been granted with an expiry date of 31 December 2020 to coincide with the end date of the licensing schemes. The council acknowledged that licences can be granted for up to five years regardless of the scheme end date and decided to vary licences accordingly.

Whilst additional and selective licence applications are no longer required, existing licences will remain in force until the expiry date on the licence, unless they are revoked.

London Property Licensing is continuing to monitor developments in Southwark and will share more information once it becomes available.

A free guide containing more detailed information about property licensing and HMO planning restrictions in the London Borough of Southwark is available here.

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