Understanding the Greenwich Selective Licensing Scheme

Estimated reading time 7 minutes

The Royal Greenwich Council introduced a Selective Licensing in Woolwich Riverside, Woolwich Common, Shooters Hill, Plumstead Common and Plumstead Glyndon wards scheme on 1 October 2022.  This selective licensing scheme now requires you to have a licence to rent single-household. Follow the link to see if your address is covered by the Greenwich Selective Licensing Scheme.

If your property is covered you need to apply for the licence as soon as possible which can be done by registering here with Royal borough of Greenwich before you begin your application.

Under no circumstances should you avoid licensing, if you do the Council will consider taking action using all the powers available to them and you could face:

  • prosecution, which carries an unlimited fine
  • fines of up to £30,000
  • management orders, where the Council takes over the management of the property
  • rent repayment orders, where you’ll have to pay back up to 12 months of rent you collected

In addition, if the Council discovers an unlicensed property, they could charge an additional 30 percent in fees when you apply for the licence. This is to cover the costs of finding the unlicensed property.

How much will the Greenwich council selective license cost?

  • Early Bird applicants who apply before 31 December 2022 – £312.00
  • New Standard applicants who apply after 31 December 2022 – £780.00 
  • Applicants who apply after 31 December 2022 and/or with previous management contraventions and are of concern- £780.00 Note: Valid for 1 year & on expiry a renewal application or confirmation that the property is no longer licensable is required
  • New Applications submitted where this property licence holder is a member of an approved Landlord or Letting Agent Organisation – £624.00  Note: To benefit from this reduction the Licence Holder must be a current Member of an approved Landlord or Letting Agent association & details entered as part of this licence application 
  • New Applications submitted where the property will be leased to Royal Borough Greenwich or an approved Royal Borough Greenwich nominated tenant on an assured shorthold tenancy for a minimum of 12 months – £585.00 Note: To benefit from this reduction you will be required to provide a copy of either the agreement with Royal Borough Greenwich or the assured shorthold tenancy agreement with the tenant as part of this application.
  • New Applications submitted where the property will be leased to Royal Borough Greenwich or an approved to Royal Borough Greenwich nominated tenant on an assured shorthold tenancy for a minimum of 12 months and the Licence Holder is a member of an approved landlord or letting agent association – £429.00   Note: To benefit from this reduction you will be required to provide a copy of either the agreement with Royal Borough Greenwich or the assured shorthold tenancy agreement with the tenant and details of membership with Approved Landlord or Letting Agent as part of this application.
  • Newbuild properties where application is received within 1 month of first tenancy- no other discounts apply – £351.00

What documents do you need to provide for Greenwich council selective license?

Whilst the application form will prompt you for the documents you need to submit it will save time if you prepare electronic versions (such as a scan or photograph) of these in advance:

  • building/property plan including measurements and any fire detection present
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for the licence holder
  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for the manager (if different)
  • electrical certificate
  • EPC – Energy Performance Certificate
  • gas certificate (if there is a gas supply)
  • a current tenancy agreement

Remember if you are applying for a discounted rate you will also need to upload: 

  • Lease Agreement with Royal Borough of Greenwich for assured shorthold tenancy
  • Accreditation confirmation and membership details 

The documents have to be provided with the application. Failure to do so will mean that your application cannot be processed and will be rejected. The fee you paid will not be refunded if this happens.  

How long should the Royal Borough of Greenwich take to process my application?

The Royal Borough of Greenwich aims to process selective licence applications in 12 weeks. A full and complete application consists of an application form, applicable initial payment and all required documentation. If an incomplete application is submitted, the Royal Borough of Greenwich will let you know what is missing and give you one opportunity to provide what is required before they reject the application.  Do note the initial payment made when applying for the selective licence is not refundable.

How long does a Greenwich selective license last?

Most licences will run for the duration of the licensing scheme. For example, if you applied on the day the scheme starts, the licence would last five years. In some cases, such as where there’s history of previous mismanagement, or enforcement action, or objections during consultation, the Royal Borough Greenwich may issue a licence for a shorter period of time.

In all cases, you’ll need to renew the licence at the end of the licence period. When you renew you selective licence you will need to send updated documents, such as gas safety certificates in order for the licence to remain valid.

Note most certificates have an expiry date and may need to be renewed prior to your licence renewal for example your annual landlords gas safety certificate and your annual fire alarm certificate. Remember that it is your responsibility to keep your certification up to date

What can I do if I don’t want to apply for a license?

If you don’t want to go through the application process yourself you have a few options.

You can use a licence application handling service.  They will charge you a fee to fill out the application on your behalf.  They will ask you for certain information required to complete the application form and arrange a convenient date to inspect your property. They will highlight any compliance issues necessary to ensure that you comply with the law. They will also for an extra fee provide a floor plan if you don’t have one.  The service does not necessarily include the provision of gas, electrical or any other safety certificates. 

If you use a letting agent to manage your property, they may have the facility to assist with the application for a fee.

If your rented property falls under the selective licensing and you do not want to go through the process of putting together all the safety certificates, making a floor plan having a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and would rather sell your property you can contact Gaffsy. As a professional cash buyer, we understand your need for a quick flat sale and we buy any property quickly and hassle free.  We can also contribute to your legal fees up to £1,500.

Finally, if you are a landlord that has reworked the numbers, adding the costs of increased regulations and legislation, reduced mortgage relief and with the rental reformers bill in the pipeline and concluded that you want to sell your buy-to-let property then contact Gaffsy for a free valuation today. We will buy any property, with or without tenants and as a cash house buyer can move quickly. Sell house fast London in a way that suits you.

Get in touch today and one of our experts will be happy to discuss your requirements, talk you through our sale process and make you a free, no-obligation cash offer.

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