BBC News today reported that Lewisham is seeking permission from the Government to introduce a borough-wide landlord licensing scheme.
The move would make Lewisham only the second London borough to introduce a borough-wide scheme (Barking & Dagenham being the first).
Council's say the scheme helps tackle rogue landlords and keep standards of rented housing up. However, landlord groups fear the scheme will penalise landlords who already have to deal with tight margins since with increasingly stringent legislation for landlord compliance.
11 London boroughs currently have selective licensing in some wards, and a further 8 boroughs are consulting on introducing a scheme.
In my experience, whilst selective licensing schemes have good intentions, the delays in processing applications can be a source of stress for landlords. Unless proper monitoring of landlords who fail to register for their licence is undertaken, rogue landlords will still get through the net.