Private rented property licensing

Exemptions from licensing

Full exemptions and temporary exemptions from licensing

Full exemptions

Some properties are exempt from licensing depending on the type of licence.

Mandatory licensing

Exemptions to the mandatory licensing scheme include:

  1. Properties that meet the converted block of flats test (section 257 HMOs), unless the individual flat/s meet the mandatory test, i.e. that the flat is multiply let to five or more persons in two or more households.
  2. Flats in multiple occupation in a purpose-built block of flats that houses three or more flats.
  3. Properties let by a local authority or a Registered Provider (RP), traditionally known as a not-for-profit Housing Association.
  4. Properties already subject to a management order or empty dwelling management order.
  5. Properties subject to a temporary exemption notice.
  6. Owners who reside in property they own as their main residence (owner-occupiers).
  7. Holiday lets; and tenancies under a long lease and business tenancies.
  8. An HMO which is managed by a charity registered under the Charities Act 2011 and which—
    1. is a night shelter, or
    2. consists of temporary accommodation for persons suffering or recovering from drug or alcohol abuse or a mental disorder.
  9. Any building which is occupied principally for the purposes of a religious community whose principal occupation is prayer, contemplation, education or the relief of suffering.
  10. Student accommodation directly managed by educational institutions, e.g. halls of residence.
  11. Single family dwellings where a dwelling is occupied by one household.
  12. Homes with up to two lodgers.

Additional licensing

Exemptions to the additional licensing scheme include:

  1. Properties licensable as an HMO under mandatory licensing;
  2. Properties let by a local authority or a Registered Provider (RP), traditionally known as a not-for-profit Housing Association;
  3. Properties already subject to a management order or empty dwelling management order;
  4. Properties subject to a temporary exemption notice.
  5. Owners who reside in property they own as their main residence (owner-occupiers).
  6. Holiday lets; and tenancies under a long lease and business tenancies.
  7. HMO which is managed by a charity registered under the Charities Act 2011 and which—
    1. is a night shelter, or
    2. consists of temporary accommodation for persons suffering or recovering from drug or alcohol abuse or a mental disorder.
  8. Any building which is occupied principally for the purposes of a religious community whose principal occupation is prayer, contemplation, education or the relief of suffering.
  9. Student accommodation directly managed by educational institutions, e.g. halls of residence.
  10. Homes let to up to two single people who are unrelated.
  11. Single family dwellings where a dwelling is occupied by one household.
  12. Homes with up to two lodgers.
  13. HMOs under section 257 of the Housing Act 2004, where
    1. the building or part of a building is less than three storeys that have been converted into two self-contained flats or,
    2. where both the building and self-contained flats it contains are under the different ownership or considered by the council to be effectively under the control of different landlords/agents.

Selective licensing

Exemptions to the proposed selective licensing designation 1 includes:

  1. Properties licensable as an HMOs under mandatory or the proposed additional licensing;
  2. Properties let by a local authority or a Registered Provider (RP), traditionally known as a not-for-profit Housing Association;
  3. Properties already subject to a management order or empty dwelling management order;
  4. Properties subject to a temporary exemption notice.
  5. Owners who reside in property they own as their main residence (owner-occupiers).
  6. Holiday lets; and tenancies under a long lease and business tenancies.
  7. Any building which is occupied principally for the purposes of a religious community whose principal occupation is prayer, contemplation, education or the relief of suffering.
  8. Student accommodation directly managed by educational institutions, e.g. halls of residence.
  9. Properties managed by a charity registered under the Charities Act 2011 and which—
    1. is a night shelter, or
    2. consists of temporary accommodation for persons suffering or recovering from drug or alcohol abuse or a mental disorder.

Temporary exemptions from licensing

If you do need a licence for your property but have a legitimate reason for delaying your application you can apply for a temporary exemption notice (TEN). You can apply for a TEN on our licensing application portal but will need to demonstrate that you will be taking steps to ensure the property is no longer subject to licensing before the TEN expires (e.g. if the owner intends to live in the property they will need to take steps to legally evict the tenants from the property).

A temporary exemption notice lasts for three months and is renewable only in exceptional circumstances. A maximum of two temporary exemption notices can be issued.

If we refuse to grant a temporary exemption, you will receive notification of the reasons and have the right to appeal against our decision. You can appeal to the residential property tribunal within 28 days of our decision.

Page last updated: 30 March 2022

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