Private London Landlords: What You Need for a Selective Licence

Estimated reading time 6 minutes

Every local authority in London has selective licensing powers. The councils that use them introduce licensing schemes across all or part of an area.  The landlords with let properties in those areas are required to apply for a licence for their rented flats and/or houses regardless of the size or number of people living there.  It applies to all privately rented properties occupied by a single person, 2 people or single household. It is the responsibility of the landlord to get a selective property licence.

Why was selective property licensing introduced?

Selective licensing schemes tend to be introduced where there have been complaints over the bad conditions of rental flats and houses with the aim is protect residents from rogue landlords, to help address antisocial behaviour, and improve overall property standards and management. Note properties over commercial premises are often included in Selective licensing schemes.

What are the conditions of granting a licence?

Before granting a licence, the authority must be satisfied that the proposed license holder is a fit and proper person and that the proposed manager of the property (if different from the licence holder) is a fit and proper person and that the proposed management arrangements are satisfactory. Also, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for the licence holder as well as a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for the manager (if different) is required.

The property must have the necessary planning permissions, a building/property plan that includes measurements and any fire detection present must be submitted. Along with an electrical certificate, an EPC – Energy Performance Certificate, a gas certificate (if there is a gas supply) and a current tenancy agreement.

If you don’t have the necessary planning permissions or required certificates you will not be able to obtain a licence. If you do not want to go to the expense of obtaining the certificates, apply for planning permission then you could sell your property.

Providing the above conditions are met the licence will be granted thereby demonstrating that the property is suitable for occupation and managed to an acceptable standard. For a new tenant it provides reassurance that the property they are planning on renting is well managed.

As a tenant, if you’re concerned that your landlord might not be complying with their legal obligations, it is worth checking if they have obtained the proper licence. If they haven’t, or if you think they’re breaching the terms of the licence, you might be entitled to claim some of your rent back.

Does my rented London home need a property licence?

You can check to see whether your privately rented London home needs a property licence by entering your postcode on the Mayor of London website.

What are the penalties of not getting a property licence?

The penalties are severe and under no circumstances should you avoid getting a property licence if one is required.

  • prosecution, which carries an unlimited fine
  • fines of up to £30,000
  • management orders, where the Council takes over the management of the property
  • rent repayment orders, where you’ll have to pay back up to 12 months of rent you collected

In addition, if the Council discovers an unlicensed property, they could charge an additional 30 percent in fees when you apply for the licence. This is to cover the costs of finding the unlicensed property.

If you are a landlord and discover you need a licence and want to sell your property rather than go through the process of applying for one then why not sell to Gaffsy? We are cash house buyers and recognise that speed and dependability are imperative for any landlords wanting to sell house fast London. Contact us today for a free cash offer.

Which London boroughs have selective licensing schemes?


Thamesmead North, Abbey Wood Lower Belvedere, parts of Erith – The scheme came into force on the 1 October 2018.


Woolwich Common, Glyndon, Woolwich Riverside, Shooters Hill and Plumstead council wards -The Scheme started 01 October 2022.(Apply before 31 December for a 60% discount)


Designation boundary – came into force on 01 March 2018

Barking and Dagenham

Borough wide – scheme started on 01 September 2019


Aldborough, Chadwell, Church End, Cranbrook, Fairlop, Goodmayes, Loxford, Mayfield, Newbury, Roding, Seven Kings and Snaresbrook – effective 01 October 2018

The licencing scheme in Ilford Town centre and Clementswood has ended and is under review for 2023.


The scheme runs in all wards across the borough apart from Hatch Lane and Endlebury – launched in May 2020


Bounds Green , Bruce Castle, Harringay, Hermitage and Gardens, Noel Park, Northumberland Park, Seven Sisters, South Tottenham, St Ann’s, Tottenham Central, Tottenham Hale, West Green, White Hart Lane, Woodside – came into effect 17 November 2022.


Finsbury Park ward – since 01 February 2020

Currently under consultation Tollington and Hillrise plus redesignation of existing scheme in Finsbury Park ward, to take into account the new ward boundaries


Brownswood, Cazenove and Stoke Newington – since 01 October 2018

Tower Hamlets

Whitechapel, Weavers, Spitalfields and Banglatown, boundaries


Bowes, Edmonton Green, Enfield Highway, Enfield Lock, Haselbury, Jubilee, Lower Edmonton, Palmers Green, Ponders End, Southbury, Southgate Green, Turkey Street, Upper Edmonton, Chase – came into effect 18 May 2021


Newington, Champion Hill, Faraday, St. Giles, Goose Green – Effective from 01 March 2022

Hammersmith and Fulham

24 specified streets – Askew Road, Baron’s Court Road,  Bloemfontein Road, Blythe Road, Coningham Road, Crookham Road, Dalling Road, Dawes Road, Fulham Road, Goldhawk Road, Greyhound Road, King Street, Lime Grove, New King’s Road, North End Road , Richmond Way, Scrubs Lane, Shepherd’s Bush Road, Sinclair Road, Talgarth Road, Uxbridge Road, Wandsworth Bridge Road, Wood Lane, Woodstock Grove  – effective since 05 June 2022


Brent selective licence boundary boundaries redrawn in May 2022


Roxbourne & Roxeth 2017, Edgware 28th April 2021, Wealdstone 02 September 2021,


Ealing has 2 schemes the one for East Acton, Southall Broadway, Southall Green which came into force from 01 April 2022.

From 03 Jan 2023 scheme will come into force in Acton Central, Dormers Wells, Greenford Broadway, Greenford Green, Hanger Hill, Hobbayne, Lady Margaret, North Greenford, Northolt Mandeville, Northolt West End, Perivale, South Acton

Are you a London landlord wanting to sell?

Understandably private landlords are asking themselves if buy-to-let is still worth it? They are worried about the impact on their rental income because of ever increasing costs that property legislation changes are making such as the selective licensing schemes, EPC policy, and don’t forget the upcoming Rent Reform bill which when it comes into law will abolish section 21 which could result in spending months in court to remove problematic tenants from their properties.

If you as a private landlord have decided to sell a flat or sell a house in your rental portfolio as you no longer want exposure to this market call Gaffsy for a free cash offer

Similarly, if you are thinking of selling it now we buy any house, regardless of its location, size, and condition, with or without tenants in situ. We can work with you to help you sell your house fast, even if it isn’t your primary residence. Contact us today on 0207 459 4546.

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