Property licensing for landlords and letting agents

Changes to the licensing of houses in multiple occupation (known as HMOs)

Mandatory licensing is no longer limited to HMOs that are three or more storeys high, but also includes buildings with one or two storeys. The change came into effect on 1 October 2018.

For mandatory licensing to apply, the HMO (or flat in multiple occupation) must be occupied by five or more persons, from two or more separate households.

This change means that flats, maisonettes and two storey properties may require a licence if they are occupied by five or more people with basic amenities such as a kitchen, bathroom or toilet. Flats situated in purpose built blocks consisting of three or more flats will not require a licence.

Landlords of HMOs that fall under the new definition will be committing a criminal offence if they do not have a licence.

If you have any queries or need help please see our frequently asked questions or contact us.

020 8753 1703

Apply for a property licence

Do you rent a property in Hammersmith & Fulham? If you do, you may need a licence

To improve private renting, we're expanding the range of properties that must have a licence. A licence requires you to meet certain standards to keep your property safe and in good condition for you and your tenants.

Applications for a property licence can only be made online. We no longer offer paper property licence application forms. 

Do I need a licence?

Q1. How many people live at your privately rented property?
2 or fewer, go to Q3 3 or more, go to Q2
Q2. How many households live at the property?
1, go to Q3           2 or more, go to Q4

Q3. If the property is in one of the streets on the list, you will need a 'selective' licence from 5 June 2017

Map and list of streets in Hammersmith & Fulham subject to selective licensing.

Q4. How many people live at your privately rented property?
4 or fewer, go to Q5 5 or more, go to Q6
Q5. You will need an 'additional' licence from 5 June 2017
Q6. You will need a mandatory HMO licence

Mandatory licensing – This scheme covers houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) that is occupied by five or more people with at least two households. Definition updated in 2018 by The Licensing of Housing in Multiple Occupation Order. This is regulated under the Housing Act 2004 and has been in force since 2006.

The deadline for submitting your application was the 30 January 2018 however you can still make an application. Remember, it is illegal to operate a licensable property without making a complete property licence application.

The following two licensing changes began on Monday 5 June 2017

Additional licensing requires landlords and letting agents across the borough who let a property, occupied by at least three or four people, who do not make up a single household and who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet, to get a licence.

Selective licensing  requires landlords letting a property that does not meet the criteria for mandatory or additional licensing, and is in the designated selective licensing area, to get a licence.

Apply for a licence

Apply for a property licence

The type of licence you need will be determined by the answers you give on the application form.

Mandatory, additional and selective licensing FAQs

Visit our frequently asked questions web page to find out more about mandatory, additional and selective licensing.

Or if you prefer, download the Mandatory, additional and selective licensing FAQs (pdf)

Licence fee

If the property is a 'mandatory HMO', the fee depends on the number of habitable rooms and whether any discounts may apply. For an average-sized property in Hammersmith & Fulham, a five-year licence will cost about £1,400.

An additional or selective five-year licence costs £560.

There is a discount of £50 if you have signed up to the landlord rental charter. You can sign up to this as part of the application process.

There's a £75 discount if you are a member of an accredited landlord body such as the NLA, RLA or LLAS.

Only one discount is applied per licence.

These fees are a legitimate business expense and therefore tax deductible.


Any licensed property must meet the following standards and conditions including fire safety, room sizes and managing refuse. Our standards our set out in the document linked below.

Register of licences

We keep a register of all licences that we've granted, as well as all temporary exemption notices we've made. The register is available for inspection at our office. If you'd like to see the register, please make an appointment by emailing:

Download an extract of the register:

(last updated 11 November 2019)

Some sources of information licensing

The Housing Act 2004 and the various statutory instruments are public documents and are available online at the website of the Office of Public Sector Information.

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