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London council wants to double scale of HMO licensing

A London authority wants to extend its licensing regime for HMOs and landlords have just over two weeks left to respond.

Lambeth council’s new proposals would see licensing for all HMOs in the borough - double the number of HMOs currently licensed - and as usual the authority claims this will drive up standards.

“The aim is to ensure that tenants living in a licensed HMO can rent with confidence knowing that their property has been properly inspected and licensed by the council. Landlords also benefit as they can advertise a certified property which is clearly managed in a responsible manner and meets legal standards” says a statement from the council.


The private rented sector in Lambeth has grown significantly with just under 50,000 households; that’s 34.5 per cent of the borough’s households, compared to 20 per cent nationally. 

There are around 5,000 Houses in Multiple Occupation currently in Lambeth, which is more than 10 per cent of the sector.

Council deputy leader Jennifer Brathwaite says: “We have a huge number of residents living in private rented accommodation and we are determined to use the powers available to us to drive up accommodation standards for households while tackling rogue landlords and illegal HMOs.


“Many landlords operate responsibly, however, we are also concerned about those who rent out smaller HMOs and certain flats that are HMOs and fail to provide acceptable conditions.”

“Where landlords are failing to meet their obligations to their tenants we’ll take action, and have already imposed fines against those operating HMOs who have failed to meet the required standards. This latest move offers the opportunity to expand that protection to more households in the borough.”

The consultation closes on March 12 and you can make your views known here.

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  • Yonnette  Roberts

    I would love to say this is a brilliant idea but until councils are able to ensure a robust unannounced inspection programme with experience staff this will be another money making exercise. Even if the council carry out inspections before licensing the agent/landlord the councils always fall behind or never inspected again until a complaint is received if you’re lucky to have a transit tenant to bring it to your attention. I still believe in private rented licenses even if it’s just an information gather system. It does help. Council needs to realise they are not in the business of just making money they need to enforce the law and improve housing standards. Too many standards under too many headings and departments.


    I have been at Glasgow HMO Licensing Court when one landlord, who had failed to fix serious issues notified before the previous 3 year HMO licence was issued, was given a further 3 year licence, despite the objections from the Fire Service and Council's own HMO department officials.

    Makes me wonder why we law abiding landlords put up with things like this.

    Rigorous enforcement and huge fines and confiscation of properties could make these schemes pretty well self financing and give comfort to those of us who abide by the law.

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    They didn't post my Response ?

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    • 24 February 2021 11:20 AM

    Same here.....Becoming less and less democratic......


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