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Guidance for tenants

Property licensing helps tenants and landlords by setting clear standards on the maintenance and management of properties. This helps to ensure that rental properties are kept in good condition and that they are safe.

We keep a register of all licensed properties in the borough.

If you are concerned about the condition of the property you live in, you think your property may be unlicensed or you want to report an issue with a neighbouring rented property.

Alternatively, please contact

If your landlord is failing to make the necessary repairs to your home, licensing can be used to make your landlord take action. It is also a criminal offence for landlords and managing agents to let out a property that is not properly licensed.  The Council can take enforcement action against landlords and in some cases a rent repayment order (RRO) for up to 12 months rental income can be made against a landlord who has not licensed their property.

If you report a property to the Council, we will check whether it is licensed and may need to carry out an inspection to check on the condition and what work may need to be carried out. Reasonable access may be required to enable this inspection of the property. Where possible and/or appropriate, your landlord will be notified of this.

There are now restrictions on the types of fees your landlord/agent can charge you.

Why does the property that I am renting need to be licensed?

  • Property licensing has a number of licence conditions that help to ensure that a property is in a good condition, that it is safe and that it is being suitably managed
  • Landlords must be considered to be a 'fit and proper' person who has agreed to abide by the conditions of their licence. This means that they should not have any criminal convictions or other reasons why they should not be renting out properties
  • Licensing gives some protection to tenants from eviction. Landlords are not allowed to evict tenants in order to avoid licensing. One of the aims of the licensing schemes is to maintain good tenancies and the Council will provide tenancy support for tenants threatened with eviction. If your landlord is threatening you with eviction, please contact us at propertylicensing@walthamforest.gov.uk.

We have devised a helpful user guide for tenants that includes all the relevant information you will need.

Private sector tenants: Drop-in sessions

The Private Sector Housing and Licensing Team would like to introduce a new drop-in session every Friday morning between 9am and 12.30pm at Wood Street Library, 1 Troubridge Square, Wood St, London E17 3HB starting on 18 March 2022.

An Enforcement Officer from the Private Sector Housing and Licensing Team will be on hand during this time to provide advice and assistance in relation to matters that would fall mainly within the following areas: 

  1. Properties that require licensing or are licensed. Most privately rented properties in the Borough are required to have a property licence and our officers can provide advice with regards to this and check if your landlord has obtained the necessary licence.
  2. Housing conditions in rented accommodation such as damp and mould, disrepair and fire safety.
  3. Tenancy relation issues such as landlord harassment or illegal evictions.

The aim of the session is to provide tenants and residents with the opportunity to speak with a member of the team face to face about the issues they are experiencing associated with a private rented property including someone’s rights as a tenant and the responsibilities of landlords.

The team can still be contacted 9am to 5pm via our duty line 020 8496 4949 and email address at, propertylicensing@walthamforest.gov.uk.