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Check if you need a private rented property licence

Private rented property licences: 

  • improve property conditions 
  • raise management standards 
  • protect tenants’ rights 
  • tackle anti-social behaviour 
  • make sure that a suitable person is running the property 

Single household properties 

You must have a licence to rent out single household properties under our selective licensing scheme, in the following wards:  

  • Woolwich Riverside 
  • Woolwich Common 
  • Shooters Hill 
  • Plumstead Common 
  • Plumstead Glyndon  

Check if your address is covered by the selective licensing scheme

If you want to know more about selective licensing, read our selective licensing FAQs

Properties that do not need a selective licence

You do not need a selective licence if:

  • 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 (for example we have taken over the management of the property)
  • the property is covered by a temporary exemption notice
  • the property is occupied under an exempt tenancy or licence, as defined in the Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified Exemptions) (England) Order 2006

There are no exemptions for registered housing charities.

Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) 

You must have a licence to let out each HMO property you own in Royal Greenwich.  

If you are not sure what an HMO is, read our HMO guide for landlords

If you have an HMO outside of the borough, you'll need to check with the relevant local authority to find out if you need a licence. 

Additional HMO Licensing

From 1 January 2024 you will also need to licence each additional HMO. 

Additional licensing mainly covers smaller HMOs, which are occupied by 3 or more people living in 2 or more households where facilities are shared. 

The scheme applies to the entire Borough. Check if your address is covered by the additional HMO licensing scheme

Read the full designation in the public notice for additional licensing.

Our previous additional HMO licensing scheme ended on 30 September 2022. 

If you had an existing additional HMO licence under the previous scheme, you'll be able to renew your existing licence on the renewal date. If your license expired during the period between 30 September 2023 and 1 January 2024, you will need to make a new application.

HMO properties that do not need a licence

You do not need an HMO licence if:

  • it does not currently have a tenant living in it, and it will not be let
  • it's student accommodation such as halls of residence that are directly managed by an educational institution
  • the rooms or dwellings are let as short-term accommodation on a commercial basis. For example a host family for international students or an Airbnb. If one room is let as the main residence of a tenant, the property may need a licence
  • it's part of a Shared Lives or similar adult placement scheme where up to 3 adult placements, plus their carers, live at the property
  • we place tenants into the property under the Royal Borough of Greenwich social lettings scheme
  • tenancies are granted to the occupiers by a registered provider, such as a housing association or registered social landlord, or by us
  • the building is a purpose built block of flats. Individual flats within it that are HMOs will need a licence
  • it's occupied for the purposes of a religious community whose main occupation is prayer, contemplation, education or the relief of suffering
  • it's run or managed by public bodies such as the police or probation services, or children’s homes
  • it’s a building that has been converted into self-contained flats. Individual flats within it that are HMOs will need a licence
  • it’s a converted building that contains at least 1 non-self-contained unit and is occupied by 4 or fewer people. Individual flats within it that are HMOs will need to be licensed

Registers of licenced HMOs in the borough

We have a duty to make and maintain registers of licenced HMOs.

What goes in the registers is also defined by law in The Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions) (England) Regulations 2006.

View the HMO licence register

Download a list of licensed HMOs