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Consultation about introducing licensing for all private rented homes in Lewisham

Between May and August 2019 we consulted on proposals to introduce licensing for all private rented homes in Lewisham.

Why we consulted Image of house with 'to let' sign outside

We want to license all private rented houses to:

  • improve property standards, security and decency in the private rented sector
  • better protect vulnerable tenants
  • help tenants feel safe and secure in their homes
  • crack down on rogue landlords and protect tenants from illegal evictions
  • reduce the gap between good and poor landlords
  • address antisocial behaviour and crime.

Existing licensing schemes

There are two licensing schemes already operating in the borough for homes in multiple occupation (HMOs). These are mandatory licensing and additional licensing.

Mandatory licensing

This scheme applies to the whole of England and requires landlords to license HMOs with shared bathroom or kitchen facilities, where there are at least five people living in two or more households.

Additional licensing

This scheme applies to HMOs in the Lewisham borough that are above commercial premises where there are at least three people living in two or more households.

Proposed changes to licensing

We consulted on the introduction of two new schemes. These are the new additional licensing scheme and the selective licensing scheme.

New additional licensing scheme

We are proposing to extend additional licensing to cover all HMO properties in the borough.

Selective licensing scheme

We are proposing to implement a selective licensing scheme across the borough. This would mean that all privately rented properties would be licensable. This scheme would need approval from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government.

The two schemes would work in tandem to ensure that all privately rented properties would be subjected to controls in order to improve standards.

What happens next

We will produce a report of the consultation results. This report, alongside other evidence on the impact of the proposed schemes, will be considered by Mayor and Cabinet as part of the decision-making process.

If the decision is made to apply to the Secretary of State for borough-wide selective licensing, the consultation report will form part of our application to support the secretary’s decision-making process.

We will publish any decisions taken, alongside any relevant documentation, on our website.