Private rented property licensing

Guidance on applying for a property licence

The person making the application is usually the licence holder. This is typically the person who is in control of the property and the person who receives the rent. This could be the owner or landlord, however it could also be a manager employed by the owner.

You can only apply for one licence per property. You cannot transfer a licence to another person.

Information required

Before applying for a licence, you will need the following information to complete your application:

  • Details of the licence holder, including name, address and date of birth
  • Room sizes in square metres
  • Details about the property structure, and location of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
  • Name and addresses of all people and organisations with an interest in the property (such as freeholders, leaseholders, managing agents and mortgage provider)
  • Documents (gas safety certificate, electrical installation condition report, energy performance certificate)
  • Floor plans of the property (with room sizes, location of bathrooms, toilets and kitchen facilities plus the position of any smoke alarms, emergency lighting and fire doors)
  • Payment card details.

Fit and proper person

For a landlord, letting or management agent to be granted a private rented property licence, they will need to prove they are a 'fit and proper' person. This will involve making a declaration to confirm their status about any criminal offences.

Failure to meet the fit and proper person test may result in an application for a licence being refused.

In deciding whether someone is fit and proper, we must consider:

  • Any offences involving fraud or other dishonesty, violence, drugs, or any offence listed in Schedule 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • Any unlawful discrimination on grounds of sex, colour, race, ethnic or national origins, or disability
  • Any contravention of the law relating to housing or landlord and tenant law
  • Whether the person has a 'banning order' in force under section 16 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016
  • If any person involved in the management of the property has a sufficient level of competence to be involved.

We may also decide a person is not fit and proper due to association with other persons not considered fit and proper, and where this would affect the management of a licensed property. The proposed licence holder and managing agent, if applicable, must also be able to prove that satisfactory management and financial arrangements are in place for the property.

Applications from non-UK residents

An application for a property licence from a non-UK resident will only be considered valid if there is a managing agent based in the UK who agrees to be bound by the conditions and obligations imposed by the licence by signing a declaration to confirm this.