Published: Thursday, 23rd November 2017

The Royal Borough is raising awareness about new licensing requirements for rental properties.

Action to target rogue landlords who flout the rules took place to raise awareness that all Houses in Multiple Occupancy (HMOs) in Royal Greenwich must now be licensed.

House visits to find unlicensed properties

Royal Borough officers carried out house visits to identify suspected unlicensed and potentially unsafe HMOs in Plumstead and Glyndon wards was last week. A total of 324 households were visited by Environmental Health Residential Services officers who carried out enquiries about the rental position and standards of properties in the area.

The targeted action resulted in 18 previously unknown HMOs being identified which will now be investigated. Further targeted action days will be taking place next month in the Shooters Hill area.

Driving up the quality of rented property

The Council's extension of its licensing scheme, to include all HMOs in the Royal Borough, came into force from 1 October 2017. The scheme aims to drive up the quality of rented property across Greenwich and ensure all homes are safe and well managed.

Landlords are being urged to apply for licenses to comply with the requirements and avoid committing a criminal offence, which could result in a penalty of up to £30,000. To encourage landlords to apply for licenses early bird discounts are being offered until 18 March 2018.

Raising awareness of letting agents

A meeting was also held on 16 November at Charlton House for letting agents who operate in the borough to raise awareness of the extension of the HMO licensing scheme. More than 30 letting agents, who operate in the Royal Borough, attended the meeting organised by the Council with London Property Licensing (LPL) and the National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS).

Richard Tacagni from LPL, said: "The event served its purpose by raising knowledge and awareness of the new Greenwich licensing scheme and gave agents the opportunity to ask lots of questions and seek clarification on a wide range of issues."

Ensuring safe and properly maintained homes

Councillor Jackie Smith, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Environment, said: "We are continuing to build upon our proactive approach to tackle rogue landlords and illegal HMOs.

"Alongside a huge growth in the private rented sector, which now accounts for a third of all homes there has also been a massive growth of HMOs in the Royal Borough rising from just 2,000 in 2012 to 7,000 in 2017. It is of major importance that we ensure all private renters live in safe and properly maintained homes."

"We are determined to drive up standards for private renters across the Royal Borough to ensure none have to live in overcrowded or unsafe homes. Sub-standard HMOs have a negative impact on the local community as often they create problems such as fly-tipping.

Check if you need a licence

Any landlords who believe they may need to licence their properties can check online at the Houses in Multiple Occupancy web page.

For advice or to report a suspected unlicensed HMO email