Lewisham council in south London is introducing a new licensing scheme for all HMOs in the borough.
It claims this will help improve standards for all renters and will tackle poor quality housing.
The new scheme will come into effect on April 5 next year and every applicant HMO will be inspected prior to the issuing of a license, and the council says “all properties will be inspected at least once during the five year licence period in order to ensure compliance.”
The council says criteria will, as usual, take regard of room sizes, health and safety, property management, and plans to tackle anti-social behaviour.
It says that with one in four Lewisham residents living in the private rented sector, extending its current HMO licensing “is a key part of the council’s commitment to supporting private renters and ensuring there are more safe and secure homes in the borough.”
Councillor Paul Bell, responsible for housing, says: “Private renters are often faced with insecure accommodation - particularly those living in HMOs. Licensing all HMOs will help improve the quality of housing across Lewisham and provide more certainty for tenants and landlords.
“As well as enabling us to work more closely with responsible landlords in the borough, the new scheme will help crack down on those who neglect their properties and fail to provide tenants with the safety and security they deserve.”
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