Early warning for Southwark landlords – new property licensing schemes being introduced in 2022
Southwark Council have approved new additional and selective licensing schemes that will come into force on 1 March 2022. London Property Licensing is advising landlords and agents to check the rules and get ready to submit licence applications within the next few months.
The council previously operated additional and selective licensing schemes from 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2020 (read here).
The council then consulted on plans for replacement licensing schemes from 15 February to 28 June 2021 (read here).
Like the previous scheme, the council is implementing a borough wide additional licensing scheme that applies to Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) that are not already licensable under the mandatory HMO licensing scheme. It includes smaller rental properties occupied by three or more unrelated people, forming two or more households who share amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.
The scheme also includes certain converted blocks of flats known as section 257 HMOs.
Southwark Council have altered the geographical areas subject to selective licensing. Whereas the old scheme comprised a complex array of licensing areas scattered across the borough, the new scheme focuses on five council wards:
- Champion Hill
- Goose Green
- St Giles
Within these five wards, a licence will be required for all private rented properties not already licensable under the mandatory HMO or additional licensing schemes. This includes houses and flats let to a single person, couple, single family or two unrelated sharers.
Plans for more extensive selective licensing are on hold for the time being. The council propose to monitor the implementation of licensing in these five wards before deciding whether to apply to the Secretary of State to extend selective licensing into new areas.
Licence application system to be launched soon
London Property Licensing understands a new licence application system for the additional and selective licensing schemes in currently being tested and should be launched soon. We will share further information once it becomes available.
Our free guide explaining the property licensing and HMO planning restrictions in the London Borough of Southwark is available here.
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