Tower Hamlet Council’s additional licensing scheme being expanded on 1 April 2024

Monday, January 29th, 2024 - London Property Licensing

A new additional licensing scheme comes into force in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets on 1 April 2024.

The council’s current additional licensing scheme started on 1 April 2019 and continues for five years until 31 March 2024.

Additional licensing expanding into the west of the borough

The current additional licensing scheme excludes the western side of the borough, comprising the pre-2014 council wards of Weavers, Whitechapel, Spitalfields and Banglatown. That area is covered by a separate selective licensing scheme.

When the new additional licensing scheme comes into force, it will extend borough wide.

The larger geographical coverage will have practical implications for landlords of smaller HMOs operating in the west of the borough. From 1 April 2024, landlords operating a small HMO under the selective licensing scheme will need an additional licence to ensure compliance.  

Licensing criteria for section 257 HMOs

The way Tower Hamlets additional licensing scheme applies to so-called section 257 HMOs is also changing. At present, section 257 HMOs (certain buildings converted into flats) only require an additional licence if all the flats within it are privately rented. 

Under the new scheme, this limitation has been removed. The new additional licensing scheme public notice covers all section 257 HMOs, including certain converted buildings where less than two thirds of flats are owner occupied by long leaseholders.  

Cabinet meeting approves new licensing scheme

The decision to introduce the new additional licensing scheme was made at the council’s Cabinet meeting on 25 October 2023. The decision followed a public consultation from 12 December 2022 to 31 March 2023, with 72% of respondents supporting renewal of the scheme. The council estimate about 9,000 HMOs will require licensing under the new scheme. 

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

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