Selective Licensing is a licensing scheme which is requested and applied for by the local authority to tackle issues such as social deprivation, anti-social behaviour, and poor housing conditions in a designated area. Some local authorities do not operate a scheme, whilst others cover large areas. A scheme can affect all rental properties regardless of size, number of storeys, or number of occupants within a fixed boundary. For example, a council can instigate compulsory licensing of all residential rental properties within a street, ward, or the whole borough.
Before granting a licence, the local authority must be satisfied that the owner and any managing agent of the property is fit and proper to hold a licence and that the property meets required physical standards.
On the 1st August 2018 Nottingham City Council introduced a Selective Licensing Scheme. Landlords with properties within the catchment of Nottingham City Council are required to obtain a licence to continue letting the property to tenants. If you are unsure whether your property needs to be licenced, you can obtain information via Nottingham City Council website https://www.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/licensingforlandlords
On 1st April 2023, Charnwood Borough Council (Loughborough) introduced a Selective Licensing Scheme covering two wards, Hastings & Lemyngton, details of the scheme boundaries and application process can be found at https://www.charnwood.gov.uk/pages/selective_licensing
On 5th June 2023, Birmingham City Council also introduced a scheme covering 25 of their 69 wards, again details of the scheme boundary and application process can be found at https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/info/20175/private_housing/2649/selective_licensing
A licence will normally be granted where:
· Appropriate fire safety measures are in place such as smoke detectors, etc
· Annual gas safety checks are up-to-date
· The electrical wiring and appliances have been checked and certified as safe every five years
· The property is not overcrowded
· There are adequate cooking and washing facilities
· Communal and shared areas are kept clean and in good repair
· There are appropriate refuse storage and disposal facilities
Once granted the licence details must be issued to the tenant and every subsequent tenancy.
Can a landlord evict a tenant to avoid licensing?
No. Landlords are not allowed to evict existing tenants in order to avoid licensing. Any attempt to get a tenant out of a property that should be licenced but isn't may be considered a crime under the Protection from Eviction Act 1977, and the landlord or anyone else involved may be prosecuted. The Deregulation Act 2015 has also changed the law so a valid notice cannot be served to end a tenancy if the property should be licenced but isn't currently.
What happens if a landlord doesn't apply for a licence?
It is a criminal offence to rent a property without a Selective License within an area designated as such, and if convicted, penalty notices of up to £30,000 unlimited fines can and already have been issued since the scheme first started.
If you would like to receive further information on Selective Licensing and whether your property is affected, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be more than happy to help.