• Selective Licensing means that all private-rented single-household properties within a designated area of the borough are required to be licensed.

  • The private rented sector in Royal Borough of Greenwich is continuing to grow, and selective licensing will help the Council address specific issues including safety, cracking down on rogue landlords and tackling anti-social behaviour. In addition to enforcement, the new scheme will help to improve standards in private rented homes and in turn improve the quality of life for residents. It is a discretionary tool given to local authorities under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004.

  • The Council has undertaken evidence-based research that shows there are problems relating to the levels of crime, anti-social behaviour, property conditions and deprivation in some privately rented properties in the borough. Selective licensing will significantly help deal with the problems as part of the conditions set out in the licence require landlords to meet certain standards of management and maintenance.

  • Selective licensing can only be introduced in areas which meet certain criteria set by legislation. The Council reviewed a range of evidence to propose areas where selective licensing could be implemented, and the designated area is one found to meet all criteria. The full evidence report can be found here.

  • A Selective Licensing scheme lasts for a maximum period of five years, running from the day when the licence is granted. The Council has discretion to issue a licence for a shorter period where appropriate.

  • Please use the postcode checker to find out if your property is within the designated area.

  • The scheme starts on 1 October 2022. If you apply within the first three months of the scheme, you will benefit from a substantially discounted fee. Applications received after 31 December 2022 will pay the full fee, although there are discounts available.

    The fees are:

    Full Fee

    On application

    On issue of licence

    Period of licence

    Applicants who apply within three months of the commencement date. No further discounts apply.




    5 years

    Applicants who apply after 31 December 2022.




    5 years

    Applicants who apply after 31 December 2022 and/or with previous management contraventions and are of concern.




    1 year

    Discounted Fees

    Applicants who agree to lease or offer an AST to a council-nominated tenant to the Royal Borough of Greenwich for a minimum of 12 months.




    5 years

    Applicants who are accredited with an approved Landlord or Letting Agent Association.




    5 years

    Applicants who are both accredited and who agree to lease or offer an AST to a council-nominated tenant to the Royal Borough of Greenwich for a minimum of 12 months




    5 years

    New build properties where application is received within one month of first tenancy. No further discounts apply.




    5 years

  • We aim to process a complete licence application within 12 weeks. However, you must ensure that all documents required are submitted at the point of application. We will reject applications which are not complete and you will need to re-apply paying the fee again.

    You can email us for more information on the application: private-rented-property-licensing@royalgreenwich.gov.uk

  • You will be able to pay for your selective licence via the application portal.

    The application fee will be split into two parts. The first part pays for administration and is paid on application. We will request the second part of the payment prior to a final licence being granted.

  • Yes, each individual property within the designated area requires a licence.

  • No, the Council is not permitted to receive financial gain from the licence fees obtained. Any licence fee charged would only cover costs associated with administering and enforcing the scheme over the designated period.

  • Selective licences are accompanied by a set of conditions which must be complied with for the duration of the scheme. Some of the conditions are set out as mandatory under the legislation. The Council can also impose additional conditions which may vary according to the property.

  • You could get a criminal conviction upon prosecution and a possible unlimited fine per condition breached or a civil penalty of up to £30,000 per offence. Multiple civil penalties could lead to you being placed on the London or National Rogue landlord database.

  • There are a number of statutory exemptions from Selective Licensing which must fall into one of the following categories:

    • The property is an HMO that already requires a licence under a mandatory HMO or additional HMO licensing scheme
    • The tenancy or licence has been granted by a registered social landlord under Part I of the Housing Act 1996
    • The property is subject to an Interim or Final Management Order under Part 4 of the Housing Act 2004 (i.e. the council have taken over the management of the property)
    • The property is covered by a temporary exemption notice; or
    • The property is occupied under an exempt tenancy or licence, as defined in the Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified Exemptions) (England) Order 2006

    Examples of some of the exempt tenancies or licences include:

    • Any property subject to a housing prohibition order
    • Certain tenancies associated with business premises, Licensing Act 2003 premises, agricultural land or agricultural holdings
    • Buildings managed by a local housing authority, police or fire & rescue authority or a health service body
    • Buildings already regulated under certain other statutory provisions (Schedule 1 to SI 2006 Number 373)
    • Certain student halls of residence
    • Holiday homes
    • Buildings where an occupant shares any accommodation with the landlord or a member of the landlord's family.

  • You will be entitled to a refund if your property doesn't need a licence at the time of application (for example, it falls under one of the exemptions) or you make a duplicate application.

  • No, if the property was licensable at the time you paid for your licence application, you would not be entitled to a refund if you sell the property.

  • No, selective licences cannot be transferred from one person to another. If you sold a property during a Selective Licensing scheme, you must contact the Council so that the existing licence can be revoked. The purchaser would need to apply for a new license if they still want to rent out the property.

  • Property inspections will take place over the course of the five-year period. This can either happen before or after the licence is granted. During the five-year period of any scheme, the Council will also respond to any complaints about the property and use its existing enforcement powers to deal with any issues that are not covered under the selective licensing conditions.

  • It is the responsibility of the person who has control of the property (usually the person who receives the rent for the property) to apply to the Council for a licence. This can be the owner or manager.

    The Council must issue a licence if we are satisfied that the:

    • proposed licence holder and proposed manager (if there is one) is a 'fit and proper person'
    • proposed licence holder is the most appropriate person to hold the licence
    • proposed management arrangements are satisfactory
    • the people involved in the management of the house are competent

    If the Council is not satisfied with the above, then we may decide to refuse the licence, reduce the term of the licence and/or impose extra conditions on the licence holder.

  • A resident landlord (owner) and family may share a house with one or two unrelated lodgers without the need for a licence. A third lodger means the house is an HMO and it must be licensed.

  • Identifying less responsible landlords is not always easy, because some tenants are worried about eviction and will not make a complaint or do not know that they are able to make a complaint. Proactive selective licensing will help to resolve this and ultimately protect tenants.

  • Yes, houses converted into flats which are individual single-household homes are part of the scheme.

  • Owners of properties that need to be licensed must proactively make an application and pay the appropriate fee. During the application process, the applicant and any interested party (owners and mortgagors) are sent a draft licence together with conditions that must be met. Interested parties can make representations at this stage and, if agreed, they will be incorporated in the full licence conditions (if no agreement can be reached, the applicant has the right of appeal to the Residential Property Tribunal).

  • Yes, individual single-household homes within purpose-built blocks are included in the scheme.

  • Failure to license your property is a criminal offence. You may be subject to prosecution with an unlimited fine or a Civil Penalty Notice, with fines of up to £30,000. Civil Penalties can be served on all owners and managing agents involved in the renting of property within the designated area. The landlord/managing agent may also be banned from running a rental property. A Residential Property Tribunal may order you to repay up to 12 month's rents to the tenants. You would be unable to recover possession of the property using a Section 21, Housing Act 1988 notice.

  • No, in all cases the landlord must provide you with two months' notice and obtain an order from the Court requiring you to leave. If the landlord does not have this order, then they could be attempting to evict you illegally and you should contact the Council.

  • Yes, but you will need to make a declaration of interest. If this is considered a conflict of interest then it could restrict or prohibit you from performing some or all of the duties associated with your employment, although this is unlikely.

  • The cost of the licence should be incurred by the landlord or letting agent responsible for managing the property. Always ask for a breakdown of any fees you are asked to pay and why.

  • The Royal Borough of Greenwich will need to take personal information from you as part of the application process. The information will be held and managed in-line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and our adopted Data Privacy Notice, which includes your payment details. Find out more about data protection.

  • There are a number of organisations that offer training for landlords in the Royal Borough. Find out more.