Another London Borough brings in licensing

Starting in September, landlords in certain areas of Lambeth will be required to purchase a £923 license to rent out properties as part of a new council plan aimed at improving housing quality and reducing antisocial behavior. This scheme applies to those letting single properties to fewer than three households in Knight’s Hill, Streatham Common and Vale, Streatham Hill East, and Streatham St Leonard’s.

Key Details of the Scheme:

1.Implementation Areas:
– The scheme will initially cover Knight’s Hill, Streatham Common and Vale, Streatham Hill East, and Streatham St Leonard’s.
– These areas were chosen due to having nearly double the national average of serious housing hazards.

2. Costs and Discounts:
– The licensing fee is set at £923.
– Discounts are available: £50 for properties with an energy performance rating of C or better, £75 for landlords who are part of an accredited landlord association, and additional discounts for landlords owning multiple flats in a block.

3. Reasons for the Scheme.
– Aimed at ensuring properties meet necessary standards and improving tenant safety.
– Designed to crack down on rogue landlords and provide better support for vulnerable residents.
– Around 8,600 properties are expected to be affected initially, with plans to expand the scheme to most of the borough except Vauxhall and Waterloo and South Bank, where insufficient evidence of poor housing quality was found.

4. Comparative Local Context:
– Similar schemes are being implemented in nearby boroughs:
– Southwark Council expanded its licensing to cover 19 wards in November 2023.
– Lewisham will require a license for landlords renting to fewer than three households starting July 1, 2024, affecting an additional 20,000 properties.

5.Support and Enforcement:
– Since 2018, all properties in the borough rented to five or more unrelated people sharing amenities have required a license.
– Lambeth already has other licensing schemes in place covering around 5,000 privately rented homes.
– The council is committed to ensuring rental properties comply with safety and quality standards and to taking action against non-compliant landlords.

Official Statements:

Cllr Mahamed Hashi, the council’s cabinet member for safer communities, emphasized that the scheme aims to provide more support for vulnerable residents, improve housing conditions, reduce overcrowding, and enhance overall housing quality. He noted that while many landlords offer good quality accommodation, the licensing would help tackle those who exploit tenants or neglect their responsibilities.

This new licensing scheme is part of a broader effort across South London to improve rental housing conditions and ensure tenant safety and well-being.

 

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