Private rented property licensing

Does my property need to be licensed?

There are three types of property licensing schemes that cover different types of privately rented properties. Find more information on the three types below.

Mandatory licensing

Mandatory licensing is required for all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) that are occupied by five or more persons forming at least two separate households.

Additional licensing

Additional licensing includes HMOs that are not covered by mandatory licensing as detailed above. For example; shared houses and smaller bedsit type accommodation that are occupied by three or more people in two or more households. It also includes the common parts of properties converted into flats that do not comply with 1991 (or later) Building Regulations and flats in multiple occupation in a purpose-built block of flats that houses three or more flats.

Selective licensing

Selective licensing applies to all privately rented properties not covered by the mandatory or additional licensing schemes as outlined above. This licence is required in the following wards only: Newington, Champion Hill, Faraday, St Giles and Goose Green.

From 1 November 2023, this licence will also be required in the following wards: North Walworth, Nunhead & Queens Road, Old Kent Road, Peckham, Camberwell Green, Chaucer, Dulwich Hill, Dulwich Wood, London Bridge & West Bermondsey, Peckham Rye, Rotherhithe, Rye Lane, South Bermondsey and Surrey Docks.
View the public notice for the designations (PDF, 819kb)

For more information, including an interactive map to check if your property is in the licensing area, view our selective licensing page.

My property needs a licence, what do I do now?

Check which type of licence you need to apply for by reading the following information on exemptions, fees and discountslicence holders and licence conditions. You can then refer to how to apply for a licence, which includes a link to our licensing application portal.

How will the council ensure properties are licensed?

If you're a landlord or managing agent of a property that is licensable and you do not apply for a licence, you can be prosecuted or issued a civil penalty notice. If you're prosecuted and found guilty, you can receive an unlimited fine. Civil penalty notices can be up to a maximum of £30,000. Find more information on the council’s enforcement policy (PDF, 494kb).

Convictions and Civil Penalty Notices will be published on the Rogue Landlord and Agent Checker alongside the offending landlords’ details.

How did the council bring in the new schemes?

Mandatory licensing is a statutory duty placed upon all local authorities in England. This scheme has been running in Southwark since 2006 and has no end date.

The selective and additional licensing schemes were approved by the council on 19 October 2021 and will be effective from 1 March 2022. View the documents and minutes of the meeting

This decision follows an evaluation of evidence to develop the schemes following extensive consultation on the proposals. Here are the supporting documents for the process as part of the consultation:

Proposed schemes 

Proposed designations 

Proposed licence conditions 

Information for consultation on licensing (PDF, 2.2mb)


Proposed additional HMO licensing scheme (PDF, 219kb)

Selective licensing - designation 1 (PDF, 223kb)

Proposed additional HMO licence conditions (PDF, 187kb)

Proposed selective licensing scheme (PDF, 266kb)


Selective licensing - designation 2 (PDF, 224kb)


Proposed selective licence conditions – designation 1 (PDF, 144kb)


Changes to mandatory HMO licensing (PDF, 53kb)

Selective licensing - designation 3 (PDF, 188kb)


Proposed selective licence conditions – designation 2 (PDF, 168kb)


Summary of the Landlord’s Gold and Platinum Standard Charter (PDF, 70kb)

Selective licensing - designation 4 (PDF, 218kb)


Proposed selective licence conditions – designation 3 (PDF, 177kb)


Alternatives to licensing (PDF, 55kb)


Proposed selective licence conditions – designation 4 (PDF, 168kb)

Ward summaries (PDF, 1.6mb)



Proposed mandatory HMO licence conditions (PDF, 147kb)


Page last updated: 23 February 2024


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