Apply for a section 257 licence

On this page you’ll find information about applying for the new 257 additional licence.

We’ve also put everything you need to know about 257 buildings in this handy PDF.

You can now apply for the new section 257 licence. There will be a grace period of three months for applications and all supporting documents to be submitted. Any applications that remain incomplete or are received after 1 December 2023 could be subject to enforcement action in line with our enforcement policy.

All Section 257 buildings which meet the criteria will need to be licensed from 1 September 2023.

You will need to apply for a Section 257 additional licence if you operate a property which was converted into self-contained flats where:

  • the property has been converted into flats and does not comply with 1991 building regulations.
  • two thirds or more of the flats are rented out.

Please note that the Section 257 licence is for the building. If any of the flats within the building require either an additional or mandatory HMO licence this needs a separate application.

You may need to apply for an additional HMO licence or a HMO mandatory licence as well as a 257 licence.

Preparing to apply

This information explains how to apply for a 257 licence. It’s similar, but not the same, as information you will need for an additional licence.

We’ve put together details of what you will need to include with your application and details of the different licence period criteria so you can prepare to apply. You can also view the application checklist here.

When submitting your application, you will need to provide:

  • A floor plan showing the communal area in metric units. You’ll need to label the usage of every room and show the location of smoke/heat detectors and carbon monoxide alarms. This plan does not need to be drawn by a professional.
  • A fire risk assessment (FRA)– if you don’t have a current FRA at the time of your application you will be issued with a 1 year licence and a special condition will be added to your licence requiring you to get an FRA for your HMO.
  • Safety certificates – all current and satisfactory at the time of application
    • Gas safety certificate (if relevant).
    • A satisfactory Electrical Installation Condition Report (EICR).
    • Fire Alarm Test Certificate (if relevant)
    • Emergency lighting (if installed) – annual check
    • A PAT certificate for any appliances supplied by the landlord. If the items are new, then a copy of receipts will be sufficient.

Optional items

The following documents are optional, but are required to meet the criteria for a five year licence.

  • EPC Certificate
  • Details of accreditation if you are an accredited landlord or agent (copy of certificate or reference number) with an accrediting body recognised by the council (Note: to qualify for a five year licence you will require proof that you are accredited with a recognised accreditation body)

Fit and proper person

The main criteria for being granted an HMO licence is to be a “fit and proper” person to hold a licence. We may decide you are not fit to manage an HMO if you have:

  • committed any offences relating to fraud, dishonesty, violence, drugs, human trafficking, or firearms
  • committed offences listed in Schedule 3 to the Sexual Offences Act 2003
  • practiced unlawful discrimination in carrying out business
  • contravened any provisions in housing or tenancy law
  • been involved in anti-social behaviour

You will be asked to sign a declaration as part of your application process, and we may seek more information from you as part of our checks.

How long will licences be issued for?

Licences will be issued for one, two and a half years, or five years, depending on your circumstances. The details below show the criteria for each licence period.

Criteria to get a two-and-a-half year licence:

  • No fit and proper person concerns
  • For renewals, any conditions from previous licence have been complied with
  • No more than 1 justified complaint in the last 12 months related to the applicant or proposed licence holder
  • Application submitted by 1 December 2023 or, for renewals, 14 days before expiry of the current licence
  • Safety certificates submitted with application (all current and satisfactory at the time of application)
  • Stage two fee paid as requested

Criteria for a five-year licence

  • You’ll need to meet all the criteria for a two-and-a-half year licence
  • No justified complaints in the last 12 months
  • Accreditation with PCC approved organisations (you can view further details on approved schemes)
  • Provide us with either a valid energy performance certificate (EPC) dated within the last 10 years (must be band E or higher unless the property is exempt) for the entire building, or alternatively a valid energy performance certificate (EPC) dated within the last 10 years (must be band E or higher unless the property is exempt) for each flat that has been tenanted within the building.

Issues that would lead to a one-year licence

Where any of the following issues are identified a one year licence will be issued:

  • Fit and proper person concerns
  • For renewals, there are conditions from the previous licence that have not been complied with
  • More than one justified complaint in the last 12 months related to the applicant or proposed licence holder
  • Application submitted more than 14 days after the grace period (1 September 2023 – 1 December 2023), or for renewals, 14 days after expiry of current licence
  • Safety certificates not submitted with application (or they are not current and/or satisfactory)
  • Fire risk assessment not submitted with application

What will my licence cost?

For full details on the cost of an additional licence see our dedicated fees page.

Further information

If you need any additional information, please contact or call 023 9284 1659