Licensing: Private sector housing

Licensing: Private sector housing

Property licensing

We have three types of property licensing in Newcastle.

Mandatory House of Multiple Occupation (HMO) Licensing 

Mandatory HMO licensing  applies to all HMO’s having five or more occupants living in two or more households who share facilities i.e. kitchen, bathroom. All such properties require a licence.

The legal minimum standards for HMO's are set out in the Housing Act 2004 and national Regulations. The HMO Management Regulations cover the legal duties for the day to day running of HMO's

All HMO's are subject to the Housing Health and Safety Rating Scheme (HHSRS). This is a risk based evaluation tool to help local authorities identify and protect against potential risks to the health and safety of tenants from deficiencies identified in dwellings.

Selective licensing 

Seven selective licensing areas are designated in the city. All private rented properties within a selective licensing area require a licence unless otherwise exempt.

Five areas commenced in April 2020:

  • Cowgate
  • East End Terrace
  • West End Terraces
  • Howdene Road, part of Howlett Hall Road, Ravenburn Gardens and part of Swinley Gardens (HHRS) in Benwell
  • Scotswood Village 

Two more started in October 2021:

  • Byker Old Town 
  • Greater High Cross

Cabinet agreed to re-designate the Byker Old Town and Greater High Cross areas for a further five years on the grounds of anti-social behaviour.

The Byker and High Cross selective licensing Cabinet papers can be found on the democracy section of our site.

More information on the designation, and a copy of the formal designation notice is available below.


Selective Licensing Designation Notice June 2021

Additional Licensing

All HMOs in Newcastle will require a licence, therefore any property which is occupied by three or more people in two or more households with shared basic amenities will require a licence.

This includes ‘’257 HMO’s’’ (under section 257 of the Housing Act 2004).

Guidance and information

All Property licences are subject to conditions which the licence holder must comply with either immediately or within a specified period of time. The Housing Act 2004 stipulates mandatory conditions that must be included in every licence granted. We can also impose any other specific property conditions considered necessary for regulating the management, use and occupation of premises plus its condition and contents.

Property licensing guidance

Following feedback from landlords the guidance document is regularly reviewed and updated. 

Please ensure you regularly check back to ensure you have the most up to date information.

Property Licensing Boundary


Fees and charges

Fire alarm testing and maintenance self declaration

Making an application for a licence

Applications for a licence can now be made. All applications for a new licence must be made online and paid in two parts as part of the application process. You will need to set up an account to complete a property licence application and to track the status of your application.

What do I need to apply?

  • room sizes and property facilities
  • details of property structure and safety equipment
  • names and addresses of persons and organisations with an interest in the property
  • payment card details
  • certificates e.g. gas safety, electrical, EPC etc.

Please see our frequently asked questions below if you are struggling to comply with these requirements as a result of Coronavirus.

Please note that inline with the Licensing and Management of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Other Houses (Miscellaneous Provisions)(Amendment)(England) Regulations 2012 applications for renewal need to be made before the current licence expires. If the current licence has expired a new application is required.

Apply for or renew a Property Licence

Temporary Exemption Application

Apply to Vary an property licence

Have your say about the impact of property licencing 

Property licence schemes are intended to raise standards in the private sector; improving standards and stabilising communities. We want to understand the impact the property licence schemes in Newcastle are having on the lives and businesses of the people who live and work in the city. 

We recently invited private landlords, managing agents, private tenants, residents and anyone who has an interest in property licencing to take part in a impact survey and have their say. 

We had a incredible response with 100s of responses from landlords and tenants.  The survey is now closed and we will be making the outcomes available soon. 

You will find the results of this consultation on Let's talk Newcastle Online, or on our website here: Newcastle upon Tyne Selective Property Licensing

Frequently Asked Questions

Please follow this link to access a list of Frequently Asked Questions. This includes information on how Coronavirus may impact the delivery and compliance of Selective and HMO licensing. Please email if you have any questions which have not been answered.

This FAQ document will be updated on a regular basis


Training for licence holders (CPD)


Licence holders are expected to improve and maintain their knowledge and competency by undertaking training and development in housing related matters.

It is also a licence condition that licence holders complete at least five hours housing related training each year.

This may include attendance on training courses relating to housing either locally or nationally, completing a recognised online training course or attending a relevant private landlord meeting or event.

Evidence to support this must be produced to the licensing team upon request.

There are lots of ways a licence holder can choose to do this, but Newcastle City Council hosts a series of events to help make this easier.   You can find out more at CPD and property licencing.

Available training

Our Private Rented Service is offering free training in preparation for the new property licensing scheme.

In the meantime sign up to receive information about training events and other landlord news, via our monthly e-bulletin, by emailing

Landlord toolkit

When applying for a licence a landlord is asked to provide a management statement and evidence of the measures they have in place to prevent, and where necessary manage, problems that might arise during a tenancy. 

Our Private Rented Service have developed a landlord tool kit which includes guidance on writing your management statement and document templates including tenancy agreements, reference applications, rent schedules, letter templates and more. 

You can view and download these documents online from our landlord toolkit or if you would like templates sent to you please contact us by emailing 

Public register

All properties which currently have an HMO or Selective Licence can be viewed on our public register of properties with a HMO or selective licence.

If you believe a property requires a licence but is not on the public register please anonymously report an unlicensed property using our online form.


Is this page useful?
Is this page useful?