England Landlord Guidance

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2.12.1 Purpose Of Licensing

Licensing is intended to make sure that:

  • a landlord is a fit and proper person (or employs a manager who is)
  • each premises is suitable for occupation and
  • the standard of management is adequate.

This is to ensure tenants are protected and that the risk of anti-social behaviour is reduced. High-risk premises can be identified through licensing and targeted for improvement by a local authority under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS).

The landlord of a licensable dwelling must apply to the local authority for a licence. The local authority can clarify whether a property is licensable. If the landlord refuses to apply for a licence (or cannot satisfy the ‘fit and proper’ person criterion) and does not use a managing agent, the local authority must manage the property instead.

More information about mandatory HMO licensing can be found below and on the GOV.UK website at https://www.gov.uk/house-in-multiple-occupation-licence.