Selective landlord licensing is being expanded in Southwark

Monday, July 31st, 2023 - Southwark Council

A new selective landlord licensing scheme is being implemented in the London Borough of Southwark on 1 November 2023.

The new licensing scheme will cover the council wards of North Walworth, Nunhead and Queen’s Road, Old Kent Road, Peckham, Camberwell Green, Chaucer, Dulwich Hill, Dulwich Wood, London Bridge & West Bermondsey, Peckham Rye, Rotherhithe, Rye Lane, South Bermondsey and Surrey Docks.

The new scheme, approved by the Secretary of State, will see selective licensing extended to most of the borough.

Within the designated area, landlords of private rented homes not already licensed under the mandatory HMO and additional licensing schemes must apply for a separate licence for each property. This includes all properties rented to a single family, or two unrelated sharers.

According to the council, this new licensing scheme follows the introduction last year of a borough-wide additional licensing scheme for HMOs and a smaller selective licensing scheme covering approximately 6,000 properties.

The smaller selective scheme was used as a pilot for the council’s new targeted approach to licensing, which divides selective licensing schemes into different designated areas, each tackling specific issues in the area. Once the pilot was deemed successful, the council sought government permission to roll out the next phase.

The licensing scheme aims to tackle renters’ biggest concerns: repairs which have not been addressed, landlords who do not respond, and damp and mould, which the council wants to see eliminated from properties. The scheme will also make it easier to support private tenants with problems associated with the cost of living crisis such as fuel poverty.

Councillor Dora Dixon-Fyle, Southwark’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety said:

For too long, tenants have suffered the misery of poor standards of housing, with nowhere to turn if their landlord didn’t get problems sorted. I’m happy to say that we can now press ahead with an extended licensing scheme, making it one of the biggest nationally. We know that that by working with landlords, to better manage standards, we can make improvements and bring up the quality of housing, and the experience of renting for our residents.

Other licensing schemes

Prior to the new scheme coming into force, Southwark Council already operates three property licensing schemes:

Mandatory HMO licensing: includes most Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) occupied by five or more peole.

Additional licensing: includes most HMOs that fall outside the remit of the mandatory HMO licensing scheme.

Selective licensing – scheme 1: includes all other private rented properties occupied by a single household or two unrelated people in the council wards of Champion Hill, Faraday, Goose Green, Newington and St Giles.

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

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