Lewisham council in London is introducing a new licensing scheme for all Houses of Multiple Occupancy - claiming it will improve standards for renters and tackle poor quality housing.
The new scheme will require all HMOs to meet set standards for room sizes, health and safety, and management, ensuring safe, secure and well-managed properties for tenants.
Landlords will also be required to have clear plans to tackle anti-social behaviour related to their properties.
The Labour-controlled council says that with one in four Lewisham residents living in the private rented sector, extending HMO licensing is a key part of its commitment to supporting renters and ensuring more safe and secure homes.
The new scheme will apply to landlords of all eligible HMOs not covered by the national mandatory scheme.
Every HMO will be inspected and assessed as part of the licensing process and all properties will be inspected at least once during the five-year licence period in order to ensure compliance.
The new scheme will come into effect on April 5 2022 and to encourage uptake, landlords who apply for a licence before this date will be eligible for an ‘early bird’ discount.
A council spokesperson says: “Private renters are often faced with unsafe or 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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