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Do I Need a Licence for My Rented Property?

29th Jan 2021

Category: Property advice

Feeling lost with property licences? In this blog we set out the stages you need to go through to help you know whether your property requires a licence or not, and which property to licence to apply for.

You’re not alone if you feel lost with property licensing- many landlords complain the licensing schemes and their implications feel like a minefield! We understand how frustrating and confusing it can be. It’s no wonder the Nottingham Post have reported that out of the 32,000 properties in Nottingham which do need a licence, only 13,450 applications have been made.

With this in mind, we’ve written an article to help you get to the bottom of whether your property might need a licence. It only scratches the surface, but we hope it gives you a good place to start!

There are 2 stages you need to consider when looking at whether your property needs a licence:

  • What licencing schemes run in my area?
  • What type of licence does it need?

1) The first question to ask is, does your property fall within a particular licencing area?

If your property sits within Nottingham City Council, the short answer is it’s highly likely it does. Nottingham City Council operates the most extensive licencing scheme in Nottinghamshire which includes Mandatory, Additional and Selective Licences (don’t worry, we’ll explain what each of these are below). There are some exceptions as not all areas within the Council’s boundaries are covered. For example, while selective licencing covers the widest area, parts of Wollaton, Billborough, Beechdale, Broxtowe, Cinderhill, Aspley, Top Valley, Rise Park and Bestwood Park Estate are excluded. This area decreases even further for Additional Licences. You can use the ‘My Property Search’ function on the Nottingham City Council website to check which licencing schemes operate in your area https://geoserver.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/myproperty/

Other Nottinghamshire councils do operate similar licencing schemes, but for the moment they are on a smaller scale. For example, Gedling operates selective licencing specifically in the Netherfield ward. The best thing to do to check whether your property falls under one of their licencing areas is to take a look at their website, or give them a call.

Mandatory licences operate nation-wide so if your property meets these requirements you will need a licence no matter where it is.

2) Once you’ve discerned which licences operate in your area, you can then decide which type of licence you’ll need to apply for. It could be one of three options and you can use the following basic rules to decide:


You will need a mandatory licence if your property is a HMO (house of multiple occupancy- more info on this previous blog post) occupied by 5 or more people who form 2 or more separate households* and share amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.

*A household essentially means a group of people who are related, for example a couple, siblings, parents and children. For example, if a group of 5 friends live together they are 5 households, if a couple live with 4 friends they are 5 households also.


You will need an additional licence if your property is occupied by 3 or more people who form 2 or more separate households and share amenities such as a kitchen or bathroom.


This one is pretty simple- if your property falls within the selective licence area and doesn’t meet the conditions of needing a mandatory or additional licence, then it needs a selective licence!

Licencing really is a MASSIVE topic and this post only scratches the surface. There are lots of intricacies involved with each type of licence and we've probably left you with many more questions. If you have a property in Nottingham and are worried about licencing, please do get in touch with us and we will be happy to chat with you about the services we offer our landlords when it comes to helping them with licences.


Lettings Manager (NFOPP Level 3)

Life-long Nottingham resident Lindsay previously worked as a Senior Negotiator at a fast-paced, multi-branch letting agency. She is fantastically skilled in all aspects of the lettings process and great at building relationships with our landlords. She is excited to dive into her new role as Lettings Manager and has recently completed the Technical Award Level 3 in Residential Lettings and Property Management with ARLA Propertymark.


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