Local changes that might effect your rental portfolio.
Lewisham Borough licencing for Landlords
From 5th April 2022 Lewisham Council have added a layer of licensing in addition to the National Mandatory Scheme. This will apply to New Tenancies, not existing tenancies.
We’ll explain some of the changes below, but further information can be found at Lewisham Council’s website. For now, you might want to check your position directly here
National Mandatory Scheme
By law, a property must have an HMO licence if it:
- has five or more people in more than one household, and
- shares amenities, such as bathrooms, toilets and cooking facilities
- is split over 2 or more levels
National Mandatory Licences, if granted, are valid for five years.
Lewisham Additional Schemes
Additional licensing applies to properties oustide the National Mandatory Scheme.
Lewisham’s Additional Landlord Licence, if granted, are valid for the duration of the scheme. These will include;
- properties occupied by 3 or 4 people living together as 2 or more separate households
- and which meets the standard, self-contained flat or converted building test in Section 254 of the Housing Act 2004.
Lewisham Licencing FAQ – as we currently understand
Why is it important for rental properties to be licensed?
Licensing of Landlords and rented properties is to enforce the safety of tenants in residential properties which may be overcrowded or have inadequate facilities or be poorly maintained.
What happens if a rental property is not licenced?
Property owners letting their properties without a licence may receive a fine between £20-30K. Should the property be empty, a licence is not required.
What is the cost for a Lewisham Landlord’s licence?
It is expected, that from the 5th of April 2022 the charges will be £500.00 per bedroom. i.e a 3 bedroom house will cost £1500 to obtain a council licence. This will not include any costs that need to be spent in order to obtain the licence.
How long will a licence last for?
Licences will be valid for five years.
When to apply for a HMO licence?
Property owners letting their properties are required to apply for a licence once they have intentions to move in new tenants to a property. During the application process, Lewisham council can issue a draft licence to cover any tenancies which need to commence at short notice.
Additional paperwork required to obtain a Lewisham Licence
Separately from the current safety documentation a Landlord already needs to make available to a tenant at the beginining of a Tenancy, further safety checks and other paperwork will need to be provided to obtain a licence, understood to be the following:
- Fire risk assessment
- Emergency lighting system documentation
- Fire detection warning documentation
- Party wall agreements
- Building Control Completion certificates
What can Stanford’s do?
With many years’ experience of ensuring valid certificates such as Gas Safety, EICR and EPC are in place before the start of a tenancy, we will continue to uphold this standard to guide our Fully Managed Clients with intentions to let their property with the permitted Licence as set out by the Borough.
Reliable contractors to provide competitive quotes
With years of experience, we build relationships with contractors who are qualified in their skilled profession and produce quality workmanship. Guaranteed works can give our landlords peace of mind.
What do you need to do now?
Nothing if your property is currently rented. However, you need to be aware of what future tenancies might hold for your investment.
In the meantime, you might want to speak to the Council directly.
Their helpline number is 020 8314 6420.