Secretary of State approves one of the largest landlord licensing schemes nationally

18 July 2023

Southwark Council has paved the way for far greater support for private renters with the agreement from the Secretary of State to press ahead with one of the largest private landlord licensing schemes in the country.

The new scheme follows the introduction last year of a borough-wide additional licensing scheme for HMOs and a small, selective licensing scheme covering approximately 6,000 properties, for five years.

The first six months of this smaller selective scheme was used as a pilot for the council's new targeted approach to licensing, which divides selective licensing schemes into different designated areas, each tackling specific issues in the area. Once the pilot was deemed successful, the next phase went ahead.

The licensing scheme aims to tackle renters’ biggest concerns: repairs which have not been addressed, landlords who do not respond, and damp and mould, which the council wants to see eliminated from properties. The scheme will also make it easier to support private tenants with problems associated with the cost of living crisis such as fuel poverty.

 Councillor Dora Dixon-Fyle, Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “For too long, tenants have suffered the misery of poor standards of housing, with nowhere to turn if their landlord didn’t get problems sorted. I’m happy to say that we can now press ahead with an extended licensing scheme, making it one of the biggest nationally. We know that that by working with landlords, to better manage standards, we can make improvements and bring up the quality of housing, and the experience of renting for our residents.”

The additional and smaller selective licensing schemes were approved by the council on 19 October 2021 and were effective from 1 March 2022 for Newington, Champion Hill, Faraday, St Giles and Goose Green wards.

Selective licensing has this month been extended to a total 19 of the borough’s 23 wards. From 1 November this year, a license will also be required in North Walworth, Nunhead and Queen’s Road, Old Kent Road, Peckham, Camberwell Green, Chaucer, Dulwich Hill, Dulwich Wood, London Bridge &West Bermondsey, Peckham Rye, Rotherhithe, Rye Lane, South Bermondsey and Surrey Docks.

Page last updated: 18 July 2023

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