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  • Property-a-holics

    Lewisham SL Consultation Closes today!

    From RLA:

    Landlords and letting agents with rental properties in the London Borough of Lewisham are being reminded that there is not long left to respond to a consultation on plans to introduce borough-wide licensing.

    What the Council is proposing

    The London Borough of Lewisham council is proposing to:

    • Introduce a borough-wide selective licensing scheme
    • Expand the current additional HMO licensing scheme to cover whole the borough.

    If the proposals are approved, all landlords with a rental property in Lewisham will be required to pay for a licence, in order to rent out the property lawfully.

    The RLA's response

    In our official response to this consultation, we have opposed this scheme for several reasons, including:

    • The proposed licensing scheme will do little to improve housing standards This is because the focus of staff becomes processing licences, and prosecutions tend to centre on whether a property is licensed or not, rather than improving property conditions.

    • The council already has enforcement powers granted to them under the Housing and Planning Act 2016, and so should make full use of these powers rather than introducing a licensing scheme on top of these powers.

    • Concerns about the fee structure As part of the proposed scheme, landlords must pay the entire licence fee upfront-even if a licensing application is still pending.

    The RLA considers this would be unlawful. Also, we have pointed out that the fee structure does not offer explanation as to why the licence fee is based on council tax band for each single dwelling property.

    Our full response can be read online here. 

    How to have your say

    This consultation closes on 20th August, so there is not long left for landlords to have their say. Click this link to read the proposals in full and to take the survey. To learn more about selective licensing and additional licensing, have a read of our online guidance for landlords. 


    the links in your post do not work.

    Here is the link to the survey and it closes on the 21st of Aug



    Thank you for bringing this to my attention!

    We have some property in Lewisham and I was not aware of this proposal! Not a thing has been sent to us regarding this proposal from the Council so a big thanks to PT and Heather for publishing this.

    I have just completed the survey and had a major rant. Won’t do any good of course but made me feel better for a short while.

    It seems clear that the agenda of all councils is to raise as much money as they possibly can from landlords so I suspect that we will see more and more licensing schemes like this proposal until all of London is covered.

    A couple of things really stood out for me regarding this proposal.

    The fee structure is very interesting. It is based on the Council tax bands

    Band Proposed fee (over five years)

    A £575

    B £600

    C £625

    D £650

    E £675

    F £700

    G £725

    H £750

    The higher the Council Tax Band the higher the Fee.

    There is no reason why a licence for a higher council tax band property will cost anymore or any less to process than a licence for a lower council tax band property.

    In essence this is a WEALTH TAX.

    My view is that it will result in less investment in Lewisham as landlords avoid extra costs (given a choice between a licence area and a no licence area all other things being equal I would always go for the no licence area).

    Longer term, less property available to let should result in higher rents (rents are currently increasing in Lewisham regardless).

    The desire of the council to rid the borough of low rent properties should also result in ridding the borough of low income, unemployed, anti-social and criminal residents so this “gentrification” of the wider borough (it has been going on for some time in smaller pockets within the borough anyway) should result in a more desirable place to live and therefore should increase the capital growth rate.

    At this stage I am a little undecided regarding the positives and negatives of the proposed scheme. I need to give this some more time and thought.

    My initial thoughts are that the proposed scheme is in effect another barrier to entry. If you are already a Landlord in the borough it might not be enough on its own to make you exit the market and if you hang on it might more than pay for itself with increased rent and capital values.

    Of course like all these schemes it will not do a damn thing to stop the property owners who illegally let their properties as they will ignore the licence scheme just as they ignore all of the other legislation related to property letting. So, it really only penalises the professional, compliant legal landlords.

    I also strongly suspect the once the initial five year period of the scheme has elapsed and all of the compliant, professional and legal landlords have registered for licences the fees will be exponentially increased for subsequent licence periods i.e. the five year fee will become the one year fee!

    Tax very rarely goes down.

    The only way to get this additional cost back from the tenants is to add it to the rent and we will be doing this at the next renewals (we were planning rent increases anyway as the market has increased so will try to add even more to cover this extra cost).