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License to Let

There are two types of property-licenses: Mandatory and Discretionary Licensing.
  • Mandatory (Parliament insists all such properties are licensed):
    • Part two of the Housing Act 2004 (HA 2004) covers mandatory licensing under s55.
    • This provides that a large HMO is:
      • 5 or more tenants
      • living on 3 or more storeys
      • forming two or more households
      • However,  The extension of Mandatory Licensing 1st October 2018 scrapped the word 'storey' meaning any property with 5 or more tenants is now licensable regardless of the number of floors or storeys.
    • Must be licensed wherever located in England and Wales. This part of the act was originally implemented in Canterbury in 2007 – most Canterbury student landlords are familiar with this.
  • Discretionary Licensing (Parliament allows LAs to designate areas as licensable):
  • Discretionary Licensing is twofold:
  • Both Additional and Selective Licensing require Landlords to license properties in different situations but with the same outcome – hefty fees resulting in higher rents and significant paperwork.
  • Additional Licensing provides that small HMOs, i.e.
    • 3 to 4  tenants at least one of whom is unrelated to at least one other
    • forming two or more households,
    • Living on any number of storeys, be licensed in “Designated” areas.
  • This part of the act was the controversial subject of consultation with a possible view to implementation in Canterbury in 2013.
  • Three sharing blood brothers is one household
    • not an HMO so not licensable,
  • Two brothers and a friend is two households
    • this is an HMO and potentially licensable
  • Selective Licensing enables “Local Housing Authorities to review housing conditions in their districts” and
  • requires small HMOs with
    • 3 to tenants living on
    • any number of storeys
  • to be licensed if an area falls within certain negative criteria –
    • mainly run down housing with
    • serious anti-social behaviour
    • related to the properties in question.

See also

Published: 10 November 2013 Last Updated: 27 November 2021