July 19

Gove Approves Large Landlord Licensing


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Southwark’s Labour Council has received approval from Housing Secretary Michael Gove for a significant private landlord licensing scheme, making it one of the largest in the nation. This new scheme builds upon the borough’s existing additional licensing scheme for HMOs and a selective licensing scheme for approximately 6,000 properties introduced last year. 

The council’s innovative approach involves dividing selective licensing schemes into designated areas, targeting specific local issues. A successful six-month pilot of the smaller selective scheme paved the way for this comprehensive licensing proposal.

Following the successful pilot phase, the subsequent stage was implemented.

According to a council statement, the scheme’s primary objective is to address the major concerns of renters, including unaddressed repairs, unresponsive landlords, and issues of dampness and mould, which the council aims to eradicate from properties. Additionally, the scheme aims to provide better support to private tenants facing challenges related to the cost of living crisis, such as fuel poverty.

A spokesperson from the council further emphasizes, “Tenants have endured substandard housing conditions for too long without recourse if their landlord failed to address the issues. I am pleased to announce that we can now proceed with an expanded licensing scheme, which will be one of the largest in the country.”


By collaborating with landlords, we acknowledge the potential to enhance standards and elevate the quality of housing, ultimately improving the rental experience for our residents.

The council granted approval for the additional and smaller selective licensing schemes in October 2021, which came into effect in March of the following year, covering five specific wards.

This month, selective licensing has been expanded to encompass a total of 19 wards out of the 23 in the borough, with further extensions planned from November onwards.

The initial positive outcomes of the selective licensing pilot scheme have showcased the potential effectiveness of this approach in enhancing housing conditions and tenant contentment. Endorsed by Housing Secretary Michael Gove, Southwark’s council is poised to lead the nation in implementing one of the most extensive private landlord licensing initiatives, establishing a precedent for other regions to emulate.

The gradual expansion of selective licensing across 19 wards signifies the council’s steadfast dedication to extending the scheme’s advantages to a wider spectrum of residents. Through this phased implementation, the council ensures consistent adherence to elevated standards among landlords operating in diverse areas, fostering fairness and uniformity within the rental market.

As the scheme continues to grow, Southwark’s Labour council remains fully committed to active collaboration with landlords, tenants, and relevant stakeholders. This ongoing partnership aims to ensure the seamless execution and continuous enhancement of the licensing scheme. By fostering open lines of communication and cooperation, the council strives to cultivate a housing market that prioritizes the well-being and satisfaction of its residents, serving as a positive model for other local authorities throughout the country.


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Enhancing housing standards, Landlord licensing scheme, Michael Gove endorsement, Southwark council approval

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