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Landlords threatened with enforcement action by council

A local authority in London is threatening landlords with enforcement action if they don’t pay up for a new license.

Lewisham’s Labour council has launched a new licensing scheme for all HMOs in the borough. 

It came into effect back in April and applies to all eligible HMOs in Lewisham not covered by the national mandatory scheme. 


An estimated 6,000 additional HMOs now need a licence in order to operate and the council claims every HMO will be inspected as part of the process.

HMOs covered by the scheme will be required to meet set standards for room sizes, provision of shared facilities and health and safety.

With one in four Lewisham residents living in the private rented sector, the council claims that extending HMO licensing is a key part of its “commitment to supporting private renters and tackling poor quality housing in the borough.”

Landlords will also be required to have clear plans in place to tackle any problems related to their properties that impact on the local community, such as fly tipping. 

Those who fail to comply with the new scheme will face enforcement action – including the risk of a fine or criminal prosecution.

A statement Issued by the council this week warns that HMO landlords who are yet to apply for a licence should do so, “to avoid the risk of enforcement action.”

A council spokeswoman says: “Too many private renters are having to deal with unsafe or insecure accommodation - particularly those living in HMOs. 

“Licensing all HMOs will help improve the quality of housing across Lewisham and help us protect our residents from rogue landlords.

"Hundreds of HMO landlords have already come forward to register their property, enabling us to carry out inspections and ensure they meet our high standards. 

“We will be working pro-actively to ensure that every eligible HMO is licensed and will take action against those landlords who fail to comply.”

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  • George Dawes

    An estimated 6,000 additional HMOs now need a licence in order to operate and the council claims every HMO will be inspected as part of the process.

    They’ll have to get out of wfh first 😆

    Bunch of paperclip shuffling jobsworths

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    So the few thousand that fit the room size criteria and have decent landlords will all dutifully sign up and pay the fee. The council will run around inspecting things and will claim a great success for tenants. Meanwhile the ones that don't fit the criteria will carry on regardless knowing that
    a) the council are busy inspecting thousands of other houses and
    b) they don't want to discover too much unsatisfactory housing as they would then have a duty to rehouse the occupants.

  • icon

    Before HMO Licensing in Glasgow it was £1000 per month for 4 students to rent a flat in a decent area and after HMO Licensing in Glasgow it is now £2000 per month for 4 students to rent a flat in a decent area after and one flat in Lymburn Street, G3 8PD a 5 Bedroom HMO flat near Glasgow University was recently let for £3500 per month by Robb Estate. These rent increases are 90% due to HMO Licensing Regimes being put in place by The Gov and only serve to increase rents to good tenants and of course to give easy jobs to Council employees with excessive powers involved in HMO Licensing..gov's must know the effect that HMO Licensing will have on tenants and private owners who rent flats to 3 or more unrelated persons but they do it anyway !!!

  • icon

    I have one 4 bed HMO flat very near the University where the rent went from £800 in 2004 to £2100 per month in 2018. It's never had a void period and some tenants usually stay on with new flatmates so avoiding letting agent fees, cleaning costs and voids.

    Scotland is 4 years ahead of England in PRS bashing but rents have never been better.

  • icon

    Robert sorry I had missed this comment I have so much going on. Spare a thought I don’t think Scotland is ahead of England in LL bashing and certainly not where London is concerned. I have had some Licensed and re-Licensed 4 times since 2006 each time with increased Application fee and additional requirements so Scotland can’t be
    4 years ahead of that but I believe it may well be true for other parts of England who haven’t done any yet. I think it should apply to everyone or no one and stop all this related stuff, it easy to know who’s making the rules who their friends and relatives are, and who staff the Civic Centres and Government Departments. I think everyone should do one before others are required to do a second, better still scrap the licensing Schemes all together, didn’t we always have rules and regulations without a license, now a mayor cost to LL’s and the main cause of high
    rents to Tenants, not least at a
    time sky high inflation, it’s getting more like enforced recession every day


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