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Private rented property licensing

Licence holder

The licence holder will usually be the person, people or company who exercises practical control of the property including the collection of rent, arranging repairs and management. The owner or manager of the property can be the licence holder.

Licences are non-transferrable, the licence holder must remain unchanged for the duration of the licence. If you need to change the licence holder before the licence expires, the new licence holder must apply for a new licence.

Fit and proper person(s)

The licence holder will need to demonstrate that they are a ‘fit and proper’ person. This will involve making a declaration on criminal offences. In determining whether an applicant is ‘fit and proper’ the council must take into account any evidence found that the person applying for a licence has:

  • committed any offence involving fraud or other dishonesty, violence, drugs and certain sexual offences
  • practised unlawful discrimination on the ground of sex, colour, race, ethnic or national origins or disability in connection with any business
  • contravened any provision of the law relating to housing or landlord and tenant law

The licence holder must also demonstrate that satisfactory management and financial arrangements are in place for each rented property. Failure to meet the fit and proper person test may result in an application for a licence being refused.

Non-UK based Licence Holders

An application for a property licence with a non-UK based licence holder may only be considered if there is a managing agent based in the UK who agrees to be bound by the conditions and obligations imposed by the licence and by signing a declaration to confirm this. Each application is assessed individually, and acceptance of non-UK based licence holders is at the discretion of the council. Applications from limited companies will only be accepted if they have a registered office in the UK.

Find more information in our Housing Enforcement Policy (PDF, 539kb).

Page last updated: 14 September 2023


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