PROPERTY LICENSING IN LONDON
Property licensing is the Local Authority’s process of improving standards in rental accommodation. Typically this is split between concerns regarding fire safety and those which are concerned with the standard of living within the property.
In order to determine whether you need a property licence, it is important to consider that both national and local authority regulations need to be taken into account. There are a slightly different set of rules for each London borough, which creates some confusion amongst landlords as to how best to be compliant. In short, the type of licence required will depend on the property itself, how it is tenanted and the borough that it is in.
The most famous type of licence is an HMO licence, which has a confused reputation. The stereotype for an HMO consists of overcrowded accommodation with terrible living conditions and sparse facilities. Although local authorities are aiming to tackling this issue, licensing schemes also apply to smaller HMOs of 3+ sharers and seek to ensure a standard quality of life in let properties.
The requirements expected from the council are adjusted according to the property and the type of tenancy, so fire safety stipulations are usually stricter in a 5 bed shared house than for a family home. This is backed up by case studies which have illustrated the respective risk factor in each type of residential property.