New Southwark property licensing schemes came into force on 1 March 2022

Friday, March 18th, 2022 - Southwark Council

Apply for additional and selective licences in Southwark

New additional and selective licensing schemes came into force in the London Borough of Southwark on 1 March 2022.

Additional licensing

A new borough wide additional licensing scheme 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.

Selective licensing

Whereas Southwark’s previous selective licensing scheme comprised a complex array of licensing areas scattered across the borough, the new scheme focuses on five council wards:

  • Champion Hill
  • Faraday
  • Goose Green
  • Newington
  • St Giles

Within these five wards, a licence is 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.

Licence application system now live

A new online licence application and payment system was implemented on 1 March 2022, to coincide with the new licensing schemes.

Increase in licence application fees

Whereas additional licences previously cost £285 per bedroom, the new fee has been fixed at £1,300 per property. This marks a considerable increase for small HMOs with just two or three bedrooms.

For a selective licence, the application fee has increased from £536 to £900 per property, an eyewatering increase of 68%. According to research by London Property Licensing, this is now the joint highest selective licensing fee in London.

Fortunately, we understand the council is offered a 30% early bird fee discount for additional and selective licence applications submitted between 1 March and 31 May 2022. Some other discounts are also available.

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

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