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London council wants to double the size of HMO licensing regime

Lambeth council is consulting agents, landlords and others on its latest licensing proposals for Houses in Multiple Occupation.

The new proposals would see licensing for all HMOs in the borough - if introduced, the move would double the size of its existing scheme.

“The aim is to ensure that tenants living in a licensed HMO can rent with confidence knowing that their property has been properly inspected and licensed by the council. Landlords also benefit as they can advertise a certified property which is clearly managed in a responsible manner and meets legal standards” according to the authority.


The private rented sector in Lambeth has grown significantly in recent years with just under 50,000 households now renting privately. That accounts for 34.5 per cent of the borough’s households, compared to 20 per cent nationally. There are around 5,000 HMPs in the borough, representing over 10 per cent of the sector.

A spokeswoman says: “We have a huge number of residents living in private rented accommodation and we are determined to use the powers available to us to drive up accommodation standards for households while tackling rogue landlords and illegal HMOs.

“Many landlords operate responsibly, however, we are also concerned about those who rent out smaller HMOs and certain flats that are HMOs and fail to provide acceptable conditions.

“Where landlords are failing to meet their obligations to their tenants we’ll take action, and have already imposed fines against those operating HMOs who have failed to meet the required standards. This latest move offers the opportunity to expand that protection to more households in the borough.”

The consultation runs until March 12; you can see more details here: www.lambeth.gov.uk/HMOlicensingconsultation.

  • Roger  Mellie

    In theory, it's a good idea. In reality, it's a revenue-generating scheme that will no doubt be overly complicated and difficult for landlords to get right. Some councils I know what know everything down to your dogs name and your inside leg measurement.


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