Why are licences needed

Larger HMOs, such as bedsits and shared houses, often have poorer physical and management standards than other privately rented properties. There is a significant risk of dying or being injured in a fire in such properties. The people who live in HMOs are amongst the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of society. As HMOs are the only housing option for many people, the Government recognises that it is vital that they are properly regulated.

Licensing is intended to make sure that:

  • landlords of HMOs are fit and proper people, or employ managers who are
  • each HMO is suitable for occupation by the number of people allowed under the licence
  • the standard of management of the HMO is adequate
  • high risk HMOs can be identified and targeted for improvement.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea intends to license properties that fall under compulsory licensing only. The Council may introduce the other types of licensing later.