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Council launches licencing despite 'NO' from 73% of landlords

lambeth selective licencing

The London Borough of Lambeth is to launch a £923 per property selective licencing scheme in four wards this September after a lengthy consultation period that began in December last year.

It also says a borough-wide scheme will be considered later despite its own report showing that just 8% of landlords agreed with the proposals, with 71% against them.

From September, landlords in Knights Hill, Streatham Common & Vale, Streatham Hill East, and Streatham St Leonards will need a licence and meet the conditions associated to legally let any property to a single-family household or no more than two unrelated sharers.

Councillors voted through the scheme late last week, saying it would both crack down on rogue operators, improve housing conditions within the PRS but also ‘support good landlords’.

The council’s justification includes several unusual elements. This includes that bad behaviour by tenants is the responsibility of their private landlords, citing that the council had received some 10,000 complaints about anti-social behaviour by tenants within the sector.

It also justifies the cost of the licence based on comparisons with other councils that charge similar fees but which are in areas of the country where costs are much lower including Sandwell and Middlesborough.


Lambeth also claims that, although the scheme will persuade some landlords to exit the local housing markets involved, these will be replaced by those who see the area as ‘investable’.

Councillor Mahamed Hashi (pictured) 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.

“While 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.”

In 2021 the council launched one of the UK’s most expensive additional schemes for HMOs at £1,156 per property for a five-year licence.


Selective licensing