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Still time to take part in Lambeth Council’s additional licensing consultation

Sunday, February 21, 2021 - Lambeth Council

Lambeth Council additional licensing consultation 2021

A public consultation on plans to implement an additional HMO licensing scheme in Lambeth started on 18 December 2020 and continues until Friday 12 March 2021. 

As part of the consultation exercise, the council have published an 82 page report explaining the background to the proposal and giving more information about how the licensing scheme would operate in practice.

Almost 50,000 households rent privately in Lambeth, making up just over a third of all households in the borough. The council estimate that about 5,000 private rented properties are currently occupied as Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs).

The proposed scheme would extend licensing to all HMOs in the borough regardless of the size of the building or how many people are living there. This would include bedsits, shared accommodation as well as certain buildings that have been converted into flats (section 257 HMOs).

According to the council, the proposed licensing scheme will help them to work with landlords to drive up standards and improve both the quality and management of the accommodation.

The aim is to ensure that tenants living in a licensed HMO can rent with confidence knowing that their property has been inspected and licensed by the council. Landlords also benefit as they can advertise a licensed property which is managed in a responsible manner and meets legal standards.

A separate licence application would be required for each property with most licences issued for five years.

According to the council, they propose to charge a licence application fee of £522 per habitable room with a 20% discount for accredited landlords and agents. At this level, it would become the highest per room HMO licence application fee in London.    

Included in the consultation report is a full set of proposed licence conditions and HMO standards which would apply to licensed HMOs.   

Councillor Jennifer Brathwaite, Deputy Leader of the Council (Housing and Homelessness), said:

We have a huge number of residents living in private rented accommodation and we are determined to use the powers available to us to drive up accommodation standards for households while tackling rogue landlords and illegal HMOs.

Many landlords operate responsibly, however, we are also concerned about those who rent out smaller HMOs and certain flats that are HMOs and fail to provide acceptable conditions.

Where landlords are failing to meet their obligations to their tenants we’ll take action, and have already imposed fines against those operating HMOs who have failed to meet the required standards. This latest move offers the opportunity to expand that protection to more households in the borough.

I appeal to landlords and tenants, as well as the wider range of Lambeth residents, community groups and partner organisations who may be affected by these changes, to participate in this consultation and let us know your views.

You can find out more information about the proposed licensing scheme and share your views here: www.lambeth.gov.uk/HMOlicensingconsultation

Alternatively, comments on the proposed scheme can be emailed to HMOLicensing@lambeth.gov.uk.

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