Still no decision on plans for selective licensing in Greenwich
During 2020, Greenwich Council consulted on plans for a selective licensing scheme covering all private rented homes in the Woolwich Common, Glyndon, Woolwich Riverside, Shooters Hill and Plumstead council wards.
The consultation originally started in February 2020 but was paused the following month due to the deteriorating coronavirus pandemic (read here).
The consultation exercise restarted in July 2020 and closed on 10 September 2020 (read here).
To date, there has been no announcement about the results of the consultation and what happens next. According to the council’s Forward Plan, a decision is expected at the Cabinet meeting in November 2021.
Greenwich Council’s additional licensing scheme attracts few applications
Meanwhile, one year before the scheme ends, Greenwich Council is still struggling to attract applications for their borough wide additional licensing scheme that started in 2017.
In May 2019, Greenwich Council responded to a safeagent survey to say they estimated that 2,250 private rented properties required a mandatory HMO licence and 7,500 properties required an additional licence (read here).
According to the May 2021 public register published on the council’s website, the council has issued licences for 1,245 properties under both schemes. This suggests that 8,500 properties remain unlicensed, with the scheme ending in September 2022.
It is not known how many licence applications are currently being processed by the council.
Licensing fees on the increase
Greenwich Council, which already has the second highest per bedroom HMO licensing fee in London, has implemented a further fee increase.
The standard HMO licence application fee in Greenwich has increased from £400 to £408 per bedroom. This means a licence for a three bedroom HMO costs £1,224, a four bedroom HMO costs £1,632 and a five bedroom HMO costs £2,040. There are some discounts available.
The equivalent licence application fee for a five bedroom HMO in the London Borough of Brent is £840.
London Property Licensing will continue to monitor developments with the selective licensing scheme and will share more information in due course.
A free guide containing more detailed information about property licensing and HMO planning rules in the London Borough of Greenwich is available here.
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