You need a selective licence if you own and rent out a property in Merton and all of the following are true:


The following types of property do not need a selective licence.

  • A prohibition order under the Housing Act 2004 is in force
  • It is being used for business premises
  • It requires another type of licence, for example a HMO
  • It has a tenancy for agricultural land and/or holdings
  • It is managed or controlled by a local housing authority, a police authority, a fire and rescue authority or a health service body
  • It is owned by registered social landlords, such as a housing association
  • It is a holiday home
  • It is a property occupied solely by students undertaking a full-time further or higher education course and where the person managing or in control of the property is the educational establishment
  • The tenancy agreement has been granted for a term of 21 or more years and where the agreement does not include a clause which allows the landlord to end the tenancy (other than forfeiture) earlier than the term of the lease. (The house or dwelling must be occupied by the original person who was granted the tenancy or any members of their family.)
  • Houses occupied by members of the owner’s family
  • The house is occupied by the tenant and landlord or his family
  • Certain student halls of residence
  • If the property is not tenanted at the start of designation and remains unoccupied throughout the period of the licence. (As soon as the property is rented out, an application for a licence must be made).

You can apply for a temporary exemption if the property will cease to be a licensable property within three months. This is an alternative to an application for a licence.

How to apply

Apply for a licence


View the current fees 

Licence conditions

All properties with this licence must comply with the following conditions. We may carry out a visit during the licence period to ensure that licence conditions are complied with. Failure to comply could result in enforcement action.

  1. If gas is supplied to the property, the Licence Holder must produce to the Council, annually or within 7 days of a written request, a Gas Safety Certificate obtained in respect of all gas appliances in the property within the last 12 months. The Gas Safety certificate must be issued by a registered Gas Safe contractor (as required by the Gas Safety (installation and Use) Regulations 1998).
  2. The Licence holder keep all electrical appliances in the property in a safe condition, in good repair and in a clean condition, and provide when requested by the Council a current Portable Electrical Equipment Test Report.
  3. The Licence holder ensures that all fixed electrical installations are inspected and tested at intervals not exceeding 5 years by a person qualified to undertake such inspection and testing and obtain a certificate from the tester specifying the results of the test provided when requested a current electrical test certificate.
  4. The Licence holder agrees to ensure that all furniture and fittings comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.
  5. The licence holder must ensure that a smoke alarm is installed on each story of the house on which there is a room used wholly or partly as living accommodation and keep each alarm in proper working order. The licence holder must also supply the council, on demand, with a declaration by him as to the condition and positioning of the alarms.
  6. The licence holder must ensure that the carbon monoxide alarm is installed in any room which is used wholly or partly as living accommodation and contains a fixed combustion appliance other than a gas cooker. The alarm must be kept in good working order and the licence holder must supply a declaration, on demand, to the council as to the condition and position of any alarms.
  7. Supply to the occupants a tenancy agreement or occupancy agreements showing the terms upon which they occupy the property and provide copies to the Council upon request.
  8. Tenancy or occupancy agreements to contain terms relating to date of commencement, rent, termination, security of tenure, grounds for possession, repairs, and occupant responsibilities in relation to pets, preventing anti-social behaviour, nuisance, harassment, and annoyance to third parties.
  9. The licence holder must demand references from persons who wish to occupy the property. No new occupiers should be allowed to occupy the property if they are unable to provide a suitable reference. When referencing, consideration must be given to the tenant’s history, credit and right to rent checks. The licence holder must provide evidence of such reference and checks carried out when requested by the Council within 14 days on demand.
  10. The licence holder must protect any deposits taken from the occupiers under an assured short-hold tenancy agreement, by placing them in a statutory tenancy deposit scheme.
  11. The licence holder must give information about the scheme being used to the occupier within the statutory time limit (currently 30 days) of the time the deposit is taken. When requested this information must be provided to the Council within 14 days on demand. 
  12. The license holder agrees to give information to the tenant prior to occupation about anti-social behaviour (ASB) and the standard of behaviour expected and what the results of ASB could be, namely that the police or local authority could become involved, that they may have to appear in Court or lose their tenancy.
  13. The license holder must ensure that the responsibilities of occupiers, particularly in relation to ASB, nuisance and refuse, are provided in writing and that documents of occupiers’ signed acceptance are retained for inspection by the Council if requested.
  14. The Licence Holder must ensure that sufficient bins or other suitable receptacles are provided and are adequate for the requirements of each household in the property for the storage of refuse and litter pending their disposal, and that overflowing does not occur. 
  15. The Licence Holder must ensure that no appliances or other equipment, is stored or accumulates within the curtilage of the property. Where such accumulations are unavoidable, they shall be removed as soon as reasonably practicable.
  16. License Holder must give instructions to tenants, at the beginning of their occupancy, regarding the storage and disposal and recycling arrangements in place in respect of refuse. 
  17. Evidence must be provided to the Council on application showing sufficient evidence that arrangements have been made for the collection, storage, and disposal of waste.
  18. The Licence Holder must ensure that wherever possible waste arising from building works or improvements to the house, does not accumulate in the curtilage to the property. Where such accumulations are unavoidable, they shall be removed as soon as reasonably practicable.
  19. The Licence Holder must ensure that the property is free from Category 1 Hazards and meets the Housing Health & Safety Rating System (HHSRS) standards as set out in the Council’s Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) Requirements document.
  20. The licence holder must provide the current annual Buildings Insurance Certificate uploaded on application and the current annual Buildings Insurance Certificate thereafter, to the Council on request.
  21. The Licence Holder must provide an Energy Performance Certificate for the property on application, and thereafter on request, to the Council.
  22. The licence holder must provide on application a BS5389 test reports relating to any fire detection system and thereafter when requested. They must also provide on application a BS5266 test reports relating to the emergency lighting (if applicable) and thereafter when requested.
  23. The licence holder must ensure that they address hazards associated with lack of space within the dwelling for living, sleeping and normal family/household life, and comply with the space standards as set out in Schedule 4 of the Housing Act 2004 relating to:
    • The maximum number of people allowed to occupy the property
    • The maximum permitted number of persons per room

How long the licence will last

A licence will normally last for 5 years, although it can be for a shorter period under certain circumstances.