Selective Licence

Our property is in Newham and as a condition of the Selective Licence we can rent to only one household. Additionally, Housing Benefit require children to share a room according to gender/age. We have already set our own limit of five tenants, of which three adults, this is in the advert. We’d like to screen out those who will be unsuitable because of the age/gender/relationship of those in the household.Do you think it’s a good idea to flag this up in the pre-screening questions? Something along the lines of:

"Local landlord regulations place restrictions on who we can rent to. Please let us know:

How many adults?
How many children under 16?
Age/gender of the children under 16"

Should we be more explicit in exactly what we need to know and why, i.e. mentioning the Newham licence?

Your advice is welcome.


Your selective license, in essence, excludes HMO letting so just write ‘families only’ ( that is the definition of one household; you have to be related by blood, marriage or a DNA link).
If you had three unrelated adults that would be an HMO. That would be prohibited under your selective license.

If you want to turn it into an HMO just speak to the licensing department ( it will be costly). They may or may not decline your application if there are already too many HMOs in the area.

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Thanks, I’m also interested in how/whether to ask about the age/gender of children since we’ve had enquiries from e.g. a couple with one child under six, and in receipt of benefit (OK, might not be Housing Benefit) or some other combination who I presume won’t be able to get full HB for three bedrooms so it’s not worth offering a viewing. For them and for us I’d rather screen them out at the beginning, not sure the best way to do this.

Just ask the ages directly

Be prepared for enquiries from sharers as my experience is that no-one reads the ad.