New landlord licensing scheme starts in Greenwich on 1 October 2017
From 1 October 2017, landlords of certain private rented homes will require a licence from the Royal Borough of Greenwich.
The licensing scheme will apply to all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) throughout the borough – an estimated 6,500 properties.
The HMO definition is complicated and so London Property Licensing are encouraging landlords to study the details carefully. For example, an HMO includes any property which is:
- occupied by three or more people who are not all related and share the bathroom, toilet or kitchen (i.e. bedsits and shared houses).
- occupied by more than one household and containing a mixture of self-contained flats and flats that are not entirely self-contained, whether facilities are shared or not.
- properties converted into self-contained flats where at least one third of the flats are rented out under short tenancies and the conversion of the building does not comply with the relevant building regulations.
The council have said that the additional licensing scheme is designed to ensure that tenants have access to safe, secure and properly regulated homes. Licensing these houses and flats will help to ensure they meet legal health and safety standards, are well run and provide sufficent bathroom and kitchen facilities for tenants.
According to the council, an extensive public consultation was carried out from November 2016 to February 2017 on extending the HMO licensing scheme: 80% of residents and tenants who responded were in favour of the changes whilst a high percentage of landlords and letting agents were opposed.
Discounted application fees available for six months
‘Early bird’ discounts are being offered to landlords who apply for a licence in the first 6 months of the scheme. During the early bird period, the standard fee is being reduced by over 50% to £145 per habitable room, with a further reduction to £116 per habitable room for accredited landlords.
For a complete list of fees, charges, discounts and how to apply, you can visit the council’s website.
New online application process
To coincide with the launch of the new scheme, a new online application system has been introduced. Landlords and letting agents can apply now to benefit from the discounted fees.
Councillor Jackie Smith, Greenwich Cabinet Member for Community Safety & Environment said:
“Properly regulated and licensed properties are good for both tenants and landlords. Renters can move into a property with confidence, knowing that it’s been licensed by Royal Greenwich and is in a condition which we all rightfully expect.
“Landlords can also market their properties as fully licensed, offering a suitable range of facilities. I encourage landlords to register for their early bird discounts and work with us as we improve the quality of homes on offer to tenants across the borough.”
Full details of the new Greenwich licensing scheme are also available on our website at www.londonpropertylicensing.co.uk/greenwich.
London Property Licensing offers a licence application handling service to ensure compliance with the new requirements and all for a fixed fee (read here).
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