Property licensing for landlords and letting agents

To report an unlicensed house or flat, or a problem with one that is licensed, email phs@lbhf.gov.uk or phone 020 8753 1703

See addresses of all licensed flats and houses

There are 3 property licensing schemes in H&F. Read the descriptions below to find out which one you need.

Mandatory HMO licences

You will need a mandatory house in multiple occupation (HMO) licence for your rented property if:

  • 5 or more people live there
  • in 2 or more households
  • and share amenities such as a kitchen, toilet or bathroom
  • and it is their only or main residence and rent is payable
  • and it is not a purpose built flat in a block where there are three or more purpose built flats

You will also need planning permission for change of use from dwelling house to HMO, if there are 7 or more people living in the HMO. You must apply for planning permission separately from applying for an HMO licence.

Find out more about use classes and change.

In 2017, the council introduced two discretionary property licensing schemes.  

Additional HMO licensing

You will need an Additional house in multiple occupation (HMO) Licence if you are a landlord of a rented house or flat if:

  • 3 or 4 people live there
  • in 2 or more households
  • and share amenities such as a kitchen, toilet or bathroom
  • and it is their only or main residence and rent is payable.

HMO licensing applies to houses and self-contained “flats in multiple occupation” including converted flats and purpose built flats in a block.

HMO regulations and / or licensing may apply to certain other types of building, for example if it is a house converted into flats where some are not are self-contained, or a “section 257 HMO” that has been converted into self-contained flats where:

  • the conversion did not comply with the appropriate building standards and still does not comply and
  • at least one-third of the self-contained flats are rented to tenants.

Some types of building are exempt from definition as HMOs such as:

  • those managed by registered social landlords or education providers or the health service
  • those occupied by religious communities and
  • those occupied by its owner with up to two lodgers.

HMO licensing is designed to improve standards of property management and living conditions in HMOs.

Selective licensing

You will need a Selective Licence if you are a landlord of any house or flat you rent to a tenant or tenants in 128 specified streets in the borough.  Selective Licensing is designed to improve conditions in parts of the borough where the levels of antisocial behaviour, rubbish nuisance and noise problems arising from rented accommodation were above average.  You can see the 128 specified streets here streets with selective licensing

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

020 8753 1703
phs@lbhf.gov.uk

Apply for a licence

Applications for a property licence can only be made online.

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

To find out more, visit frequently asked questions about mandatory, additional and selective licensing.

Licence fee

If the property requires a Mandatory HMO Licence, the fee depends on the number of bedrooms. In 2020/21 the fee is £1,215 for a 5 bedroom HMO plus £13.10 for each additional bedroom

For an Additional HMO or Selective Licence the fee is £555

There is a discount of £80 if you are a member of an accredited landlord body such as the National and Residential Landlords’ Associations or London Landlord Accreditation Scheme or a discount of £50 if you have signed up to the landlord rental charter as part of the application process. Only one discount is applied per licence

The licence fee is in two parts - Part 1 – to cover the costs of processing the application; and Part 2 – to cover the costs of managing and enforcing the scheme. For Mandatory HMO licences the split of fees is Part 1 25% and Part 2 75%; for Additional HMO and Selective Licences the split of fees is 50/50%.  If an application is processed but the licence is not granted, the Part 2 fee can be refunded to the applicant.

Standards

HMOs must meet the following minimum standards for amenities and the way they are managed and the licence conditions.

Houses and flats in Selective Licensing streets must meet the following minimum standards for the way they are managed, used and occupied and the licence conditions.

The council amended and simplified the standards and conditions in April 2020.

Improving private rented housing - consultation May 2021

Improving private rented housing consultation May 2021

Landlords rental Charter

Landlords rental Charter

See addresses of all licensed flats and houses

View the full register