Property licensing

You need a property licence if you own and rent a property that:

  • meets the definition of being a house in multiple occupation (HMO) anywhere in Hackney
  • is located in Brownswood, Cazenove or Stoke Newington wards – find out which ward you’re in

If you don’t have a valid licence you could face an unlimited fine. You might also receive a rent repayment order.


Houses in multiple occupation (HMO)

Houses in multiple occupation can offer good quality affordable accommodation to people who cannot afford to buy their own homes and are not eligible for council housing.

Types of property licences

There are three types of licence:

Apply for a property licence

A landlord, managing agent or a third party can apply.

You must comply with the ‘licensing conditions’ which ensure the home you’re renting is properly managed and meets acceptable standards:

You need to provide some documents and information when applying:

We put together a few resources to help you apply for and understand your property licence.

Apply for a property licence

If you have difficulty applying online, call 020 8356 4866 or email

Steps after you apply

  • All information and documents submitted with the application are reviewed to ensure they are valid and complete.

    The review comprises:

    • ensuring that information submitted meets minimum requirements
    • the correct licence fee has been paid
    • checks that an appropriate person has been proposed to be the licence holder
    • Land Registry checks to ensure all known interested parties are noted in the licence application
    • fit and proper person test

    If the information submitted doesn’t meet the requirements for the issue of a draft licence we contact the applicant.

  • An inspection of the property may be undertaken and a copy of the draft licence is posted to all known interested parties, such as co-owners and mortgage providers.

    There is a 21 day period where a representation can be made by interested parties. If a representation is received it’s investigated by private sector housing officer.

    An inspection won’t always be done prior to issue of the licence. However, in all cases an inspection will be carried out during the period of the licence.

  • If there are no representations, or all representations are resolved satisfactorily, a licence is issued to all known interested parties.

Rent repayment order

Rent repayment orders allow tenants to claim back up to 12 months’ rent, housing benefit or universal credit when the landlord has committed an offence.

The housing charity Shelter has lots of information about rent repayment orders, including:

Page updated on: 17 November 2023

Property Licensing


Hackney Service Centre
1 Hillman Street
E8 1DY


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