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Labour council charging almost £1,000 per property for a license

Labour-controlled Lambeth council in south London is introducing a Selective Licensing Scheme at almost £1,000 per property.

A statement from the council says the regime is starting in September in four wards but is likely to spread out to another 19.

A report claims the licence - costing £943 - is in line with a council policy that makes Lambeth “a place we can all call home.”


Around a third of the 144,985 residential dwellings in Lambeth are in the Private Rented Sector, and the council claims over 9,446 of these are “predicted” to have a serious home hazard. 

The council also claims to have received over 10,000 complaints of anti social behaviour incidents in the private rental sector over a three-year period.

It says responses received during a 12-week consultation on the proposals “suggested that almost two-thirds of residents and local businesses approved of the proposals for introducing licensing in the first four wards – and the 19 earmarked in the second phase.”

Councillor Mahamed Hashi, Cabinet member for Safer Communities, says:  “Privately renting is often the only option for residents who can’t access social housing and aren’t able to purchase their own property. This scheme will see more support for vulnerable residents, help reduce overcrowding and improved premises conditions. Ultimately, it will lead to better housing for our residents.

“Whilst most landlords provide good quality, safe accommodation, there are some who take advantage of their tenants or don’t know what their responsibilities are. Licensing will help us crack down on rogue landlords and take decisive action against housing offences.

“It will also give us the opportunity to proactively investigate cases of mould and damp, to ensure all privately-rented properties comply with the requirements.”

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  • icon

    What a complete load of tosh. They already have the powers to deal with these issues but instead add another layer of tax which if it ever comes my way will result in immediate rent increases to the amount of legalised theft charged.

  • icon

    Great way to increase rental prices, Nice one.

  • icon

    It's just another tax from financially incompetent and incontinent Labour run councils.

    No prize for guessing that financially numerate landlords- that's most of us- will increase the rents to recover that tax.

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    “ A place we can all call 🏡 “ 😂😂 Well if I were a landlord there, my tenants wouldn’t be calling it home anymore 🥵🥵

  • Sarah Fox-Moore

    They "guess" that some have hazards, but have no idea, and their solution is to rinse the landlord of a £Grand which could have been money spent on the propery, but is now diverted to the Council instead! Oh and of course rents will shoot up even further - that goes without saying 👏👏

  • Sarah Fox-Moore

    If you havent got your rents at Top of the Market do it ASAP!!!

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    No wonder there is a housing crisis! Councils already have the powers to deal with rogue LLs but they use SL as a revenue raiser to do what they should already be doing, then LLs get the blame for rising rent!

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    The Council leader in Ealing said they had the powers to deal any landlords issues as far back as 1992 I still have the paper Article.

  • David Hollands

    All tenant will pay an extra £1000 a year to rent a property. Madness


    I think most are for 5 years, I think 🤔

    • D B
    • 20 May 2024 09:05 AM

    Normally a licence is up to 5 years so just under £200 per year split let’s say between 4 occupiers equals approx ONLY £5 a month per person..


    DB - and if those people are all from one family that's £20 per month (after tax) on top of every other increase. Plus the LL has to pay it all up front, so there is an additional cost there & this takes no account of the time the LL may need to spend filling in the form.

  • icon

    This is less than Newcastle are proposing to charge!
    All Landlords in the affected areas should write to their Tenants asap explaining that the Council is introducing this charge and so you will be obliged to raise the rent to cover the increase. Stress that this is a tax by the Council and will not be going to the Landlord and if they object they should take it up with the Council and ask them for help in paying it!
    This also applies to any Landlords whose Council are proposing to introduce Licensing or RENEWING schemes.
    Landlords will never stop these money making schemes but if enough Tenants object they may think again!

  • Franklin I

    Failure to pay your "Landlord's Licensing" can result in a fine of up to £30,000. Lewisham Council introduced this regulation this month, specifically on May 20th, 2024.

    If you review "Lewisham Homes" and their performance in managing landlords' properties, you will find numerous issues that suggest they themselves should be fined and held accountable. Ironically, these are the same authorities that will be enforcing compliance among landlords.

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    • D B
    • 20 May 2024 09:09 AM

    A 5 year licence cost equate to only about £5 per person per month if you have 4 occupiers.. is it really such a problem to enable licence conditions to be placed on a property manager for which they need to abide by (over and above the existing HMO Management Regs 2006 which apply regardless. I think most tenants would be happy to pay £5 a month to have a better managed home..


    So what about single person occupancy? I have 4 of these. £20 a month extra for nothing. No bargain for nothing in return. I’m pretty confident the tenants I have would be in full agreement.


    I don’t own any HMO’s, all single dwellings, 2 of mine have single tenants, so any increase will fall just on their shoulders.


    And I'm sure the council will be happy for the landlord to setup a standing order for £5 per tenant per month for the next 5 years!
    Thought not !


    £5 per person per month, after tax, maybe all in the same household so from one / two wages, plus the LL has to front the money up which has a cost - so it adds up to a lot more than £5 per person. For what? The council has all the powers it needs already to enforce standards - they just need a way to finance it because they spend all their money on temporary accommodation!

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    And they wonder why there is so little accommodation to let in their area!!
    This is all getting beyond belief!!

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    • C P
    • 20 May 2024 12:19 PM

    Just taking more money for nothing, to justify their jobs. Jobs worth lot.

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    • A S
    • 20 May 2024 12:44 PM

    I recently sold a 3 bed in Lambeth for partly this reason. They started with licencing for HMO's, then licencing for any property with 3+ non related tenants, now licencing for any rental property. It's a slippery slope, once they start, they quite like getting the "free" money, so they won't stop. Same as the tax on driving in London, start with congestion charge, then ULEZ, then pay per mile (you're delusional if you think it won't come in within the next 5 years). Solution? Stop voting blue/red/green/yellow and start voting local and independent!

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    All landlords need to ensure, that it is specified on their tenancy agreements, how much is added to the annual/ monthly rental because of the taxes that the councils have charged. Tennants may then fight back at the council tax hikes.


    Good point. I will be reflecting this in future tenancy agreements. We must demonstrate to tenants exactly who is driving these rent increases.

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    So Lambeth council cite "antisocial behaviour" in the PRS as a reason for introducing selective licensing. And how precisely is licensing going to solve the perennial problem of tenants' antisocial behaviour? Is the licence fee going to fund police officers to deal with these issues? Really, it's time for tenants to tell councils to back off and stop putting the PRS in jeopardy. Also, licence fees are supposed to be ring-fenced with the cash only being used to fund operating the scheme and the costs of inspection and enforcement. I'll bet most councils are breaking the law by using licensing funds to pay for all sorts of things. Maybe time for some freedom of information requests to see how landlords' cash is being spent.

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    I had 3 people recently wanting to rent a 2 bedroom flat. I had to turn them down as I don’t want the flat to become an HMO and all that entails. Also the head lease stipulates the property must not be turned into an HMO.

  • Mick Roberts

    So that's 'around' 20% that are 'predicted' to have serious hazard. And then we don't know who has caused that hazard. So at least 80% are paying more in rent increases and they have nothing wrong

  • icon

    Just had my HMO licence fees confirmed - nearly £1500 per house! And then the cheeky beggars go on to say that if I hand my house over to then to house all their undesirables, they'll waive the fees!
    No, the rents will go up to reflect the fees you fools. And I would rather stick my head in boiling fat rather than hand the keys over to you!

  • icon

    Typical of Lambeth Council. Landlords will just increase rent. They are so short sighted.

  • Jaeger  Von Toogood

    Time to put the rents up, folks!


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