Skip to main content

Property licensing

Property licences are compulsory for landlords and property managing agents

The Government has given approval for another 5 year selective licensing scheme which will commence 1 September 2019. 

Our new system is now live. Landlords and managing agents can use the link below to apply for private rented property licences.

Please apply for a new licence, this is a new scheme and not a continuation of the previous scheme

Apply for a private rented property licence

Property licensing FAQs (PDF, 150KB)

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

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.

Types of licence

  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


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 is 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’s 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, 320 KB)

HMO East London guidance (PDF, 30 KB)

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, 51 KB)

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.


New application


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

Landlords that have held a licence with us in the previous scheme that are deemed as a fit and proper person, that has not been subject to any enforcement action, including convictions, cautions or civil penalties, will be given a 50% discount on Part B.

Discounts are given on the basis of licence holder eligibility if a licence holder does not qualify for a discount then all properties applied for by the licence holder will require the full Part B payment.

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

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)

Private Rented Property Licensing team

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

020 8724 8898