Southwark’s plans to strengthen protections for private renters

26 February 2021

Southwark Council’s new private rented licensing schemes will improve safety, security and quality for people living in private rented homes. With a third of the people living in Southwark now in private rented accommodation, the council wants to hear from as many residents, landlords and business owners as possible, to develop the best new scheme for everyone.

The council’s ambition is to transform private rented homes, so that all residents have access to safe, secure and good quality accommodation. Many of those renting privately in Southwark live in areas where people are on lower incomes - bad quality rented homes can make things harder. The council invites Southwark residents to feed into its new private rented consultation and help to instigate necessary change.

The council has taken significant action to tackle poor standards since the previous schemes started in 2016. Whilst the previous additional licensing scheme (small HMOs) covered the whole borough, the selective licensing (single family homes) scheme was restricted to a few key trunk roads and high streets. However, renters still face hazardous, over-crowded and unacceptable conditions. Southwark is keen to continue the good work that was achieved and to expand the area of the selective scheme so that more tenants can be helped.

Cllr Kieron Williams, Southwark Council leader said: “We want to ensure everyone who is renting privately in Southwark has a decent home, with good standards of security, safety and quality. Having invested significantly in landlord licensing over the past few years we are now looking to take this further with proposals for new property licensing schemes covering over 90% of the borough’s private rented homes.

“If you are renting in Southwark, I encourage you to visit the consultation and see what we’re doing to help and to let us know how we can better support you. Landlords are encouraged to take part and find out how we are working to support good landlords. All residents and business owners are encouraged to take part and provide feedback on our proposals – all views are important and can make a real difference to how we work to transform private renting in Southwark”

Southwark Council is consulting about two new licensing schemes which, if they were introduced, would come into effect in two phases, the first from September 2021, followed by a larger area later in 2022.

Page last updated: 26 February 2021

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