Licensing: Private sector housing

Licensing: Private sector housing

Property licensing

A public consultation is underway on proposals for a new Selective and Additional Licensing schemes in Newcastle

Property Licensing schemes are intended to raise standards in the private rented sector, making landlords more accountable and improving property management

We are consulting on proposals which could see new selective licensing schemes in Lemington, Denton Court and Columbia Grange, while amended schemes in Cowgate and the West End could be put in place for another five years

The consultation also includes plans for a new additional licensing scheme for smaller HMO's (Houses in Multiple Occupation) across the whole of Newcastle. 

We want to hear from tenants, residents, agents, landlords and voluntary and community sector organisations on the proposals.

You can take part by visiting

The full evidence report approved by Cabinet can be found by visiting

Agenda for Cabinet on Monday 19th February, 2024, 6.00 pm | Newcastle City Council

Stakeholder events

We held a event for stakeholders on 21st March and will be holding a number of other events in May and you can view the presentations about the current scheme and proposed scheme here.

We have a number of upcoming events.

Presentation event with Q&A

At these events you will be able to listen to a presentation and ask questions.  Staff will be available to answer questions and help you complete the online survey.  Booking for these events is required. 

Jesmond Library – Tuesday 7th May  - 6pm to 8pm: Book your place

Westend Library – Wednesday 8th May - 6pm to 8pm: Book your place


Drop in events

At the drop-in session you will be able to pop in and find out more information on the proposals and have conversations with members of our team.  Members of the team will be on hand to help you complete online survey.

Jesmond Library – Monday 13th May - 4pm to 6pm

Westend Library – Wednesday 8th May - 4pm to 6pm

The Lemington Centre – Thursday 16th May 11am to 3.30pm


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.

Please Note:

Planning and Licensing are separate matters, you may require planning permission to turn a house into a House in Multiple Occupation under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Planning permission is always required to change the use of a house or an existing HMO property into a House in Multiple Occupation housing more than 6 persons.

In certain parts of the city, where an Article 4 Direction applies, planning permission is required to change the use of a house to an HMO for between 3-6 persons. 

Further guidance on the need for and applying for planning permission can be found on the Council’s Planning page Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO’s)

Houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) | Newcastle City Council

Information about the locations of each individual Article 4 Direction can be viewed here Article 4 and Regulation 7 Direction (


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).

Property Licensing Boundary


Licensing Conditions

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. 

Please note that as of 2nd October 2023 all new licences will be subject to the new licensing conditions. If you have applied for a license and have yet received your draft licence, the draft you receive will include the new licensing conditions 

If you currently hold a valid property licence, the new conditions will apply when you renew your licence. A copy of the new Licensing Conditions can be found below


Selective Licensing Conditions


HMO Licensing Conditions 


To support the HMO Licensing Conditions we have published a Property Licensing Standards for Houses in Multiple Occupation document

Property Licensing Standards for HMO's  


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

From 1st November 2023 a new Licensing Fee structure will be introduced. 

Fee's and Charges

Please note that the Part 1 processing and administration fee will not be refunded if a license application is withdrawn or refused following the submission of the application 

Further details of the Newcastle Housing Accreditation Scheme will be provided in due course

For information relating to fire alarm testing and maintenance self declaration please use the link below:

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

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.


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