Southwark Council has been given the green light for one of the UK's largest selective licencing schemes.
It got approval from Housing Secretary Michael Gove following the introduction last year of a borough-wide additional licensing scheme for HMOs and a small, selective licensing scheme covering 6,000 properties, for five years.
The first six months of this smaller selective scheme was used as a pilot for the council's new targeted approach to licensing, which divides selective licensing schemes into different designated areas, each tackling specific issues in the area.
The scheme aims to tackle renters' biggest concerns including neglected repairs, unresponsive landlords, and damp and mould, which the council wants to see eliminated from rental properties.
The scheme will also make it easier to support private tenants with problems associated with the cost-of-living crisis such as fuel poverty.
Selective licensing has now been extended to 19 of the borough's 23 wards. From 1st November, landlords will also need a licence in North Walworth, Nunhead and Queen's Road, Old Kent Road, Peckham, Camberwell Green, Chaucer, Dulwich Hill, Dulwich Wood, London Bridge & West Bermondsey, Peckham Rye, Rotherhithe, Rye Lane, South Bermondsey and Surrey Docks.
Councillor Dora Dixon-Fyle (pictured), cabinet member for community safety, says tenants have suffered the misery of poor standards of housing, with nowhere to turn if their landlord didn't get problems sorted for too long.
She adds: 'I'm happy to say that we can now press ahead with an extended licensing scheme, making it one of the biggest nationally. We know that by working with landlords to better manage standards we can make improvements and bring up the quality of housing, and the experience of renting for our residents.'�
The additional and smaller selective licensing schemes were approved by the council back in October 2021 and took effect in March 2022 for Newington, Champion Hill, Faraday, St Giles and Goose Green wards.