Existing licensing schemes
There are two licensing schemes already operating in the borough for homes in multiple occupation (HMOs):
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.
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 are consulting on the introduction of two new schemes:
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.
Why we are doing this
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
- eliminate rogue landlords and protect tenants from illegal evictions
- create a fairer environment for landlords and support them to deliver consistent standards of accommodation across the private rented sector
- reduce the gap between good and poor landlords
- address antisocial behaviour and crime.
Complete the consultation
We want to hear your views on the proposals if you live in Lewisham or you are a:
- business owner.
Complete the consultation by 20 August 2019.
What happens next
After the consultation closes on 20 August 2019, 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 in October 2019 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.