Lewisham Council’s selective licensing consultation extended until 4 February 2022

Thursday, December 16th, 2021 - Lewisham Council

Lewisham Council are consulting on plans to implement new selective licensing schemes covering a large part of the borough.

This is the council’s second selective licensing consultation. A previous consultation on plans for borough wide selective licensing took place in 2019 (read here).

On 11 March 2020, Lewisham Council’s Mayor and Cabinet approved plans for a borough wide selective licensing scheme (read here).

As a result of the pandemic, no application was submitted to the Secretary of State to seek approval for the borough wide scheme. Instead, Lewisham Council reviewed their plans and came up with a new scheme proposal that excluded the Blackheath and Telegraph Hill wards. The council are now consulting on their updated plans.

The proposed selective licensing schemes would cover three separate areas:

Area One: covers Brockley, Lewisham Central, New Cross, Rushey Green, Catford South and Perry Vale wards (focused on reducing anti-social behaviour and improving housing conditions).

Area Two: covers Evelyn, Ladywell, Lee Green, Sydenham and Crofton Park wards (focused on improving housing conditions).

Area Three: covers Bellingham, Downham, Forest Hill, Grove Park and Whitefoot wards (focused on raising the living conditions of the most deprived).

Given the size of the area, Lewisham Council would need approval from the Secretary of State to implement selective licensing in all three areas.

If all three selective licensing schemes are introduced, every private rented property within these council wards will need to be licensed.

Acording to the council, there are more than 39,000 private rented properties in the borough, accounting for more than 31% of the total housing stock in Lewisham.

Councillor Paul Bell, Lewisham’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Planning, said:

The private rented sector is a large part of the housing options in our borough and the Council has a duty to do what it can to protect those tenants from unscrupulous landlords.

We know that residents in private rented homes experience higher levels of environmental antisocial behaviour in close proximity to their homes. By introducing these new licensing schemes we can help improve the housing standards for those residents. Making improvements to housing and environmental standards will be a benefit to tenants, their neighbours and the local community.

As part of the consultation, the council wants to hear the views of landlords, private tenants and all residents who live, work or have a connection to the areas under consideration.

You can find out more about the proposed licensing scheme and take part in the consultation here. The consultation was originally scheduled to end on 5 January 2022 but has been extended until 4 February to give more people time to participate.

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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