Awareness Campaign: Test Your Knowledge!


test your knowledge on Southwark's property licencing

In this article, we have compiled ten questions about property licensing. Take the test to assess your knowledge and see how much you know about property licensing in Southwark.

We know that information on property licensing can be overwhelming. What is a mandatory HMO license? How do you count households? Does my home need a license even if I share with only one person? Test your knowledge by taking our test and see how much you know about property licensing in Southwark. If you get an answer wrong, don’t worry – we have included links to our articles which will easily give you the answer in a jargon-free language.

How many types of licenses are there?




Correct answer: there are three types of license in total. These are:  selective license, additional HMO license and mandatory HMO license. To find out easily what type of license your property needs, follow the arrows in the flowchart here.

What type of license covers properties occupied by single people, couples or one family?

Selective licence

Additional HMO licence

Mandatory HMO licence

Correct answer: Selective license. Since November 2023, selective licenses are now required in 19 out of the 23 wards in Southwark. Only single occupier properties in Borough and Bankside, St George’s, North Bermondsey and Dulwich Village don’t require a selective license. You can find more info on Southwark’s property licencing here

Alex and Sarah are a couple. They live in a one-bedroom flat and share a bathroom. How many households are in the flat?

None because Sarah and Alex are a couple and do not share the flat with others

One because Sarah and Alex are a couple

Two because there are two tenants living at the property

Correct answer: There is one household in the flat. Because Alex and Sarah are a couple, they form one household. If Sarah and Alex were not a couple, they would count as two separate households. You can read about how to count households in our previous article here.

Lily, Charlie, Elliot, Ben and Charles are students at King’s Collage London. Together they rent a four-bedroom house in Elephant and Castle. Why is a Mandatory HMO license is needed for the property?

Because there are at least 5 people living at the property forming at least 2 households

Because there are more than 2 unrelated people at the property

Because there are five people living in a property with four bedrooms

Because all tenants are students

Correct answer: Mandatory HMO licensing is needed for any property which has at least 5 people living in it, forming at least two separate households. We can safely assume that there are at least two households in the property. You can read about how to count households in our previous article here.

Sara rents a studio flat in Peckham. Does the property need a license?

No, because Sarah lives alone and her flat is a ward which does not have selective licensing

Yes, because Sarah lives in Peckham which is a ward that has selective licensing

Correct Answer: Correct Answer: Yes, a property license is needed, because Sarah forms only one household and lives in an area that operates selective licensing. If Sarah’s flat was located in Borough and Bankside, St George’s, North Bermondsey and Dulwich Village then it would not require a license.

Annie, William and Magda are colleagues and rent a three-bedroom apartment. Together they share a bathroom and a kitchen. What type of license the landlord needs to purchase for their property?

Selective because they are colleagues and each tenant has their own room

Additional HMO because there are three people who form three households

Mandatory HMO because they are only colleagues who form three separate households

Correct answer: There are three households at the property, each tenant is counted as a separate household. It is irrelevant that the tenants are colleagues and know each other – they are not related. Because there are no more than three tenants who form three households, the property will need an additional HMO license.

 If the property was occupied by 5 people, the property would need a mandatory HMO license.

There is only one team at the Council which deals with all issues related to private housing



Correct answer: There are multiple teams at Southwark Council who deal with various issues related to private housing. Always make sure that you contact the right team. This is because your enquiry may not be dealt with if yo contact the wrong team at the Council. To find out which team you need to contact, see our previous article on Council teams here.

Jack and Jill are friends who rent a two-bedroom flat in a ward which does not fall under selective licensing scheme. Jack’s friend Lisa plans to visit Jack in the summer and stay at the flat for 2 weeks. Does the property need a license?

Yes, the flat will need an additional HMO license because Lisa will be the third person at the flat

No, the flat will not need a license because there are only two sharers and Lisa is just visiting

Correct answer: The property does not need a license. This is because the property is only occupied by two tenants – Jack and Jill – who form two households. The flat is located in a ward which does not operate a selective licensing scheme. Because Lisa is only visiting for two weeks, she is considered as a guest and not a tenant. As a result, the flat will not need a license.

If the landlord has not applied for a property license, there is no benefit for tenants to do anything about it



Correct answer: False. There are many benefits for tenants to notify the Council if their landlord has not applied for a property license. For example, the Council can ensure that the landlord carries out essential repairs in the property (to read more on the fines and repair orders, click here). The tenants can also apply for Rent Repayment Order and get their rent back from the landlord.

We hope you enjoyed this “test your knowledge” quiz! Have a question or feedback about this test? Do you want to test your knowledge further? Contact us via our webform and we will get back to you!

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.