Licensing for Rental Properties

There are three different types of licences that may be required for a rental property.

You should check with your local council to see if any apply to your property. Click here to begin.

Bear in mind also, that a council’s licensing requirement can change over time, so just because you don’t need one now, doesn’t mean you won’t need one in the future (except for mandatory licences, which are always required for all properties that meet the criteria).

Mandatory House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licence

You must always have a licence if you’re renting out a large HMO in England or Wales. Your property is defined as a large HMO if all of the following apply:

  1. it is rented to 5 or more people who form more than 1 household;
  2. some or all tenants share toilet, bathroom or kitchen facilities; and
  3. at least 1 tenant pays rent (or their employer pays it for them).

Additional HMO Licence

Some local authorities require smaller HMOs to be licenced. These are HMO’s that are rented to 3 or more people from 2 or more households (for example, a couple and a friend).

This requirement could apply to the whole district or just a specific area.

The designation of an area being subject to additional licensing typically lasts for 5 years, after which it may or may not be extended.

Selective Licence

If a local authority designates the whole district, or just a specific area, as being subject to an additional licence, this requirement will apply to all let properties, regardless of the number of occupants.

The requirement to hold the licence typically lasts for 5 years, after which it may or may not be extended.


If you’re looking for an agent to help you ensure you’re always compliant with changing requirements and legislation, why not contact us to see what we can do for you? Call us on 03300 883973, email us or take a look at our services.


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