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Private rented property licensing

Please email all enquiries to prpl@lbbd.gov.uk

Landlords and/or property managing agents letting a property in the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham must apply for a licence if they fall into one of the licensing criteria below:

  1. HMO (houses in multiple occupation) licence - compulsory for properties occupied by five or more persons living in two or more households
  2. Selective licence - compulsory for all let residential accommodation that is not an Additional or Mandatory HMO

Designation of area for selective licensing with map (PDF, 361 KB)

Apply for a private rented property license

Guidance

Unlicensed properties

It is a criminal offence to let a property that is required to be licensed without applying for a licence. A property must be licensed unless the licence is revoked or the landlord is no longer the owner of the property.

We work closely with the police, London Fire Brigade and other agencies to identify unlicensed properties. We will also carry out compliance visits to all licensed properties.

There are a range of sanctions for operating without a licence, depending on the circumstances. Failure to apply for a licence can lead to a fine. Landlords renting properties in the borough who have not applied or paid for a private rented property licence may only be eligible to for a one year licence and are at risk of prosecution.

If we cannot grant a licence or a licence is revoked, we have the power to make an interim management order (IMO). The IMO will transfer the management of the property to the council for a specified period, after which a final management order (FMO) may be made.

An unlicensed landlord is not able to use the section 21 possession procedure, which entitles them to regain possession of the property without a court hearing, following the service of a valid notice giving the tenant at least two months’ notice.

For any period where an unlicensed property is privately rented, an application can be made to the residential property tribunal for a rent repayment order, which could mean a landlord having to repay up to 12 months of rent to the tenants. Where we have taken enforcement action, a licence may be revoked or varied and may require a new application for all licence types.

Licensing conditions for approval

We must be satisfied that the property to be licensed must be reasonably suitable for occupation. Refer to the private rented property licensing conditions before completing your application, to ensure that your property meets the standards.

The proposed licence holder must be a fit and proper person to be the licence holder and must be the most appropriate person to hold the licence. It could be the landlord, the person receiving the rent or the person in control of the property.

It is preferred (though not essential) that the proposed licence holder submits this application. The proposed management arrangements for the house must be otherwise satisfactory.

HMO (houses in multiple occupation) licences

HMOs are houses in which many unrelated people live.

The Housing Act 2004 requires large Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) to be licensed. Licences aim to ensure minimum standards of safety and maintenance for HMOs. Shelter has more information about HMO standards.

From 1 October 2018, mandatory licensing of HMOs has been extended so that smaller properties used as HMOs in England which house 5 people or more in 2 or more separate households will in many cases require a licence.

New mandatory conditions to be included in licences have also been introduced, prescribing national minimum sizes for rooms used as sleeping accommodation and requiring landlords to adhere to council refuse schemes.

Information and guidance

Guide for HMO landlords - on GOV.UK.

Guide for HMO tenants (PDF, 320KB)

HMO East London guidance (PDF, 30KB)

Penalties for non-compliance

It is illegal to operate an HMO without a licence (unless it is an HMO that does not need a licence). The courts can impose a fine of up to £30,000 on the landlord of an unlicensed HMO. In addition, the tenants will be able to reclaim up to 12 months rent.

If an HMO should be licensed but isn’t, the landlord cannot serve notice to quit on a tenant until the licence has been obtained.

HMO public register

The Housing Act 2004 requires that local authorities hold a public register of all registered HMO’s. Our register can be viewed online.

Public register for HMO licences

Equality monitoring

We want to ensure that we are providing a service to all sections of the community and would appreciate your assistance by completing and returning our monitoring form.

HMO monitoring form (PDF, 51KB)

HMO licence fees

For each application for a 5 year licenceApplication fee - Part APart B payment Fee for assistance with application (including form completion)
Up to 5 habitable rooms£1000£300£161.50 + £7.50 per room
6 to 9 habitable rooms£1000£400£171.50 + £7.50 per room
10 to 14 habitable rooms£1000£500£182 + £7.50 per room
15 to 19 habitable rooms£1000£600£192 + £7.50 per room
20 or more habitable rooms£1000£700£202 + £7.50 per room

Selective licences

The selective licence is for any size or type of property in which one or two people live as a single household. All landlords who rent out or let residential accommodation that is not an Additional or Mandatory HMO must have a selective licence.

Selective licensing of residential accommodation under part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 is intended to ensure that all properties let in the private rented sector are of a good standard, well maintained and well managed. It applies to all private rented properties within the borough that are not a house in multiple occupation (HMO). It is a tool to deliver sustainable improvements to private rented accommodation, increasing the quality of existing stock in the private rented sector in terms of both physical conditions and management standards.

Selective licence fees

All fees are applicable on application for a licence, renewal of a licence and change of licence holder.

ServiceSelective

Previously licensed applicants

A landlord who is considered a fit and proper person, has held a licence with LBBD in the previous scheme and has not been subject to any enforcement or legal action including conviction, caution or civil penalty, maybe eligible for a 50% reduction in  the Part B fee only.  If you have been subject to any enforcement action you will not receive the discount on any of your properties.

All applicants will be required to pay Part A of £470, Part B is £430

New application

All applicants will be required to pay Part A of £470, Part B is £430

1 year application and renewal

Landlords with previous management contraventions or who are of concern (a person who has or is being investigated for fraud relating to tenancies or is subject to enforcement action or prosecution relating to contraventions under the Housing Acts and associated regulations) will be charged the full fee for a 1 year licence or renewal.

All applicants will be required to pay Part A of £470, Part B is £430

Change of licence holder

The fee for changing the licence holder is the same as the full fee for the licence.

All applicants will be required to pay Part A of £470, Part B is £430

Licence variation fees

ServiceCost
Change of address details of any existing licence holder, manager, owner, mortgagor, freeholder, leaseholder etcFree
Change of mortgagor, owner, freeholder, and leaseholder (unless they are also the licence holder or manager)Free
Reduction in the number of maximum occupiers and/or households for licensing purposesFree
Variation of licence instigated by the councilFree
Change of manager (unless they are also the licence holder)Free
Reprinting of lost licence£11
Revocation of licenceFree
Application for licence following revocation of licenceFull application fee
Application refused by the council    Full application fee with no refund
Application withdrawn by the applicantFull application fee with no refund
Application made in error by someone out of boroughNo fee, and a refund will be made

Selective and Additional HMO registers

A requirement of the licensing scheme is to have a public register available.

Restricted register

The restricted version of the register can be viewed online.

Selective and Additional Public Register

Unrestricted register

The unrestricted version of the register is available for viewing by visiting the Private Rented Property Licensing Team, open 10am to 4pm, Monday to Friday (closed on public holidays).

Temporary exemptions

By law we have to keep a register of temporary exemption notices relating to property licensing.

We can serve a temporary exemption notice when the landlord or manager of a property which is required to be licensed, but is not licensed, tells us that they intend to take steps to ensure that the property is no longer required to be licensed. The notice exempts the property from the licence requirements for 3 months from the date of service.

We can serve a second temporary exemption notice providing a further period of 3 months exemption running from the expiry date of the first notice if the landlord/manager notifies us that it is required. There must be exceptional circumstances to justify a second notice.

Temporary exemptions public register

The Housing Act 2004 requires that local authorities hold a public register of all temporary exemption notices relating to property licensing.

Three month exemptions granted - August 2018 (PDF, 24 KB)

Frequently asked questions

What is a Property Licensing Scheme?

Everyone deserves a decent and safe home in Barking and Dagenham.

Property Licensing Schemes help councils to protect private tenants and crack down on
rogue landlords. They help to:

  • improve the quality of private rented homes, ensuring they are safe for tenants to live in;
  • reduce antisocial behaviour associated with poorly managed rented properties and
  • allow the council to act against landlords who provide a poor standard of accommodation

All landlords and property managing agents, who let properties in this borough, need to
apply for a licence.

Don’t we already have a Property Licensing Scheme in place?

The council currently has a Discretionary Licensing scheme which comes to an end on Saturday 31 August 2019.

Earlier this year, the Government approved a Selective Licensing Scheme for five years, right across the borough – the first of this kind to be given government approval anywhere in the country.

The new, borough wide, five-year Selective Licensing Scheme will start on Sunday 1 September 2019 and continue until 31 August 2024.

We also have a Mandatory HMO (Houses in multiple occupation) Licence Scheme for landlords that rent a property that is occupied by five or more people (including children), living in two or more households.

Why has the council brought in the new Selective Licensing Scheme?

Over the last five years, private rented homes have been the fastest growing housing provision in the borough. They make up 27 per cent of the borough’s housing and provide accommodation to an increasing number of vulnerable individuals and families.

We are absolutely determined to protect our tenants, making sure they live in safe homes that are in good condition and are well managed.

The new scheme means approximately 20,000 households in the borough’s private rental sector will be protected from rogue landlords through our Selective Licensing Scheme, and will be able to rent, knowing their properties have satisfied conditions, and are safe to live in.

How do Property Licensing Schemes protect tenants?

Landlord licensing protects tenants from poor living conditions by ensuring they have safe homes that are in good condition and well managed.

As part of our Licensing Schemes we assess properties to make sure they are safe and we carry out checks to ensure people are fit to be landlords.

We set standards and conditions for the management of each property, ensure safety measures are in place, and enforce against landlords that do not meet the required conditions.

How do Property Licensing Schemes support landlords?

The council supports landlords to provide decent and safe homes to rent.

We give you information and advice about your responsibilities as a landlord and help you to comply with the conditions of your licence.

We can also provide support to help you to run your rental business and improve your property management.

For further information please contact us on 020 8724 8898.

Have the current Property Licensing Schemes improved housing conditions?

Yes, the current schemes have helped us to weed out rogue landlords who put tenants at risk, and to crack down on crime, antisocial behaviour and overcrowding.

They have helped us to enforce against rogue landlords that put profits above people.

The current schemes have helped the council to start 70 prosecutions, and serve 570 enforcement notices requiring properties to be made safe.

We have also carried out over 100 operations working in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and London Fire Brigade to ensure properties are regulated and safe. 

When will the new Selective Licensing Scheme start?

The new, borough wide, five-year Selective Licensing Scheme will start on Sunday 1 September 2019.

Under the Licensing laws, every privately rented property in Barking and Dagenham will need to be licensed and comply with strict conditions to ensure each property is safe and properly managed.

How long will a Selective Licensing Scheme licence last for?

Your selective licence will be issued for 5 years.

Do landlords that rent Houses of Multiple Occupation (HMOs) also need to apply for the new Selective Licensing Scheme?

No, HMOs which are occupied by five or more people (including children) living in two or more households, must apply for a Mandatory HMO Licence.

Landlords that currently hold a Mandatory HMO Licence do not need to reapply for a licence, until their current licence expires.

New landlords that rent a property that is occupied by five or more people (including children) living in two or more households, should apply for a Mandatory HMO Licence:

Apply for Licensing for rented property

The council is working to introduce an Additional HMO Licence for HMOs that are occupied by three or more non-related people that share some facilities such as a kitchen or bathroom.

I’m a landlord and I already have a Discretionary Property Licence – do I have to register and pay for the new Selective Licensing Scheme?

Yes. The Discretionary Licensing Scheme comes to an end on Saturday 31 August 2019. The new Selective Licensing Scheme starts on Sunday 1 September 2019 and all landlords (apart from landlords that already have a Mandatory HMO Licence) must apply and pay for a licence.

A landlord who is considered a fit and proper person, has held a licence with LBBD in the previous scheme and has not been subject to any enforcement or legal action including conviction, caution or civil penalty, will be eligible for a 50% reduction in  the Part B fee only.  If you have been subject to any enforcement action you will not receive the discount on any of your properties. 

How much do landlords have to pay?

All applicants will need to pay a Part A payment of £470.

There is also a Part B payment of £430.

How do I apply for a licence?

You can apply for a licence via our new online system:

Apply for Licensing for rented property

What happens to landlords and managing agents that haven’t applied for a licence?

It is a criminal offence to rent out a property in Barking and Dagenham without applying for a licence.

We work closely with the police, London Fire Brigade and other agencies to identify unlicensed properties. We also carry out compliance visits to all licensed properties.

We use a range of enforcement actions if landlords rent properties without a licence, including fines and prosecutions.

Can the council refuse my application for a licence?

Yes. We carry out checks to make sure people are ‘fit and proper’ to be landlords and if we decide a landlord isn’t, we can refuse a licence.

How can I check if my landlord has a licence?

Tenants can check if their landlord has a licence by looking at our public register. This function will be available in September 2019.

Who do I contact if I have concerns?

Tenants who need further support can email us at PRPL@lbbd.gov.uk

Landlords can get advice and support by emailing us at PRPL@lbbd.gov.uk

You can report an unlicensed property by email: PRPL@lbbd.gov.uk

Why are landlords charged for a Property Licence?

The Selective Licence Scheme will help us to protect tenants and crack down on rogue landlords. We have to charge for licences to help cover the cost of the assessing applications, issuing licences and accompanying documents, inspections, licensing enforcement and monitoring properties.

Did you consult with people about the new Selective Licensing Scheme?

Yes. We carried out a comprehensive consultation with key groups including tenants, landlords, managing agents, neighbouring boroughs, and the emergency services:

  • 66% of tenants and 60% of borough residents said continuing the scheme in 2019 would have a positive impact, and 59% agreed that the scheme should be boroughwide
  • tenants and residents said it would have a particularly important impact on antisocial behaviour, property conditions and overcrowding

Full results of the consultation (PDF, 642KB)

Private Rented Property Licensing team

Barking Town Hall, 1 Clock House Avenue, Barking IG11 7LU

PRPL@lbbd.gov.uk