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New licensing regulations for landlords

Some London local authorities are introducing new regulations requiring landlords to license their rental properties, a move which aims to improve standards in the private rented sector and ensure that properties are maintained to a certain level and kept in good condition.

The regulations vary between local authorities but as a general rule, in order to be licensed, rental properties must reach certain standards in terms of gas safety, electrical safety, fire safety and the quality of furnishings. Licences typically last for five years and cost upwards of £400 each. Each rental property will need a separate licence.  A ‘selective’ licence is one which applies to properties in certain areas or streets. An ‘additional’ licence applies to some Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO).

Landlords using our property management services can rest assured that we will take care of any new licensing arrangements requiDocumentred on their behalf.  Those landlords undertaking their own property management should contact their local authority to find out what they should do next.


Barnet’s licensing scheme applies to HMOs, as well as camping and caravan sites.

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From January 1st 2017, landlords in Ealing need to obtain an additional licence for any HMO which has two storeys or more and is occupied by four or more people. Selective licensing will also apply to homes in the wards of Acton Central, East Acton, South Acton, Southall Green and Southall Broadway, where the Council believes the scheme will deliver the most benefits. Landlords will need a licence for each of their properties, and each licence will run for five years.

The selective licence costs £500 and the additional licence £1100 for each HMO plus £30 for each habitable room.

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Fulham and Hammersmith

A new, selective licence will be needed from 5th June 2017 for rental properties in certain streets and an additional licence for HMOs will also be required.

The selective licence will cost a flat fee of £540. The additional licence will cost around £1400 depending on the number of habitable rooms.

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Lewisham’s licensing scheme applies only to HMOs that require mandatory licences and have three storeys or more, five or more people in more than one household, and shared facilities such as bathrooms and cooking facilities. It will also apply to any HMO above commercial premises.

Fees vary but start at £400 for a five year licence for landlords belonging to The London Landlord Accreditation Scheme.

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Newham was the first Borough to introduce licensing and charges £500 for a selective licence and £850 for an additional licence for an HMO. There is a discount of £150 for newly built rental properties which have not previously been lived in.

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Selective licensing will be introduced for rental properties in Valentines and Clementswood wards from May 2017. The Borough is requesting permission from the Government to introduce a wider selective scheme to include a further 12 wards.

HMOs may need an additional licence from April 2017.

Tower Hamlets

From October 1st 2016, all privately rented properties in the areas of Whitechapel, Weavers, Spitalfields and Bangla Town need to be licensed. The cost is £520 for five years.

Once the property is licensed, the property will need a tenancy agreement, Gas Safety certificate, safe electrical appliances and furniture, references from the tenants and procedures to deal with any anti-social behaviour.

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It is a landlord’s responsibility to obtain the licence but as part of our management service we are able to apply for the licence for you, subject to an administration fee of £100 + VAT for completing it.  If we don’t already manage your property and you would like further details of our services and fees, please email us and we will get one of our Property Managers to contact you.


About the Author

A qualified lawyer (she studied Law with French Law) at UCL, Simran began her career working for a city firm specialising in commercial real estate, before joining Benham and Reeves in 2006. During this time, Simran has put systems in place to streamline administration, enabling the company to compete effectively with much larger organisations. As a result, the company’s property management department has grown substantially – in 2006 it managed 885 rental homes whereas today the department manages nearly 2000 properties for clients, including a growing number of overseas clients. Read more about Simran Prasad here - Read full profile