Changes underway to Lewisham Council’s landlord licensing schemes

Friday, February 11th, 2022 - Lewisham Council

Landlords and agents are being warned about various changes underway to property licensing schemes in the London Borough of Lewisham.

One additional licensing scheme has ended

On 11 February 2017, an additional HMO licensing scheme was introduced in the London Borough of Lewisham. The licensing scheme applied to all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) above commercial premises throughout the borough.

In 2019, Lewisham Council estimated that about 1,500 would require licensing, although the actual number that were licensed is unclear.

Additional licensing schemes are restricted to a maximum of five years, and that scheme ended on 10 February 2022.

A new additional licensing scheme starting soon

A new, more extensive additional licensing scheme will come into force on 5 April 2022. The new scheme extends borough wide and includes most HMOs occupied by three or more people (read here).

Having listened to feedback, we understand the council have excluded so-called section 257 HMOs (certain converted blocks of flats) from the scheme.

Whilst a high licence application fee of £500 per bedroom is being charged, landlords who apply before 5 April 2022 will received a 20% discount.

Selective licensing consultation underway

On 20 October 2021, Lewisham Council launched a consultation on plans to introduce a large selective licensing scheme covering most of the borough.

The consultation was originally due to end on 5 January 2022 but was then extended until 4 February (read here).

Following concerns expressed about aspects of the consultation process, we understand the council restarted a new selective licensing consultation on 21 January which continues until 20 May 2022. More information can be found on the council’s website.

Our free guide containing more detailed information about property licensing and HMO planning rules in the London Borough of Lewisham is available here.

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