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LATEST: Greenwich agrees £2.6m selective licensing scheme after Covid delay

greenwich selective licensing

The London borough of Greenwich has re-started its planned roll-out of selective licensing across three of its key areas - Woolwich, Plumstead and Shooters Hill.

Expected to go live at the beginning of July following its Cabinet committee decision, this means nearly a fifth of PRS properties within the borough will have to be licenced within the borough, which already operates an HMO licensing scheme.

The scheme is expected to raise £2.6 million in revenue from landlords within the areas from approximately 4,500 properties.

During the delayed consultation, which was restarted in September 2020, 72% of the landlords and letting agents who contributed were against the scheme.

Greenwich council had hoped to bring in the measure - which will see all private landlords licence their properties within these areas - in 2020 but the plans were shelved during the pandemic after the government requested that new applications be set aside - due to pressure on the private rented sector'.

The plans have now been voted through by councillors and the fees for the five-year long scheme will be £312 for early bird applicants rising to £780.

Government approval

This scheme will not require approval by the Secretary of State as the threshold of 20% of private rented property covered by the scheme has not been exceeded.

During the meeting, it was claimed that the areas covered, which include a patchwork of residential streets near the centre of Woolwich, are both a hotspot of poorly-operated private rented accommodation but also blighted by anti-social behaviour.

But the meeting also heard that some HMO landlords had avoided licensing by returning properties to single-family use and that the selective licensing scheme would prevent this happening.

The neighbouring council of Lewisham is consulting on a scheme that would see an almost borough-wide selective licensing scheme introduced.


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