Selective licensing is a programme that requires landlords or managing agents to licence their properties if they rent a home in a specific area.
The scheme is designed to help improve housing and management standards in areas where there are lots of private landlords, specifically areas that are experiencing low housing demand and/or suffering from anti-social behaviour.
As of 2015, the criteria of selective licensing was expanded and now covers areas with an influx of immigration, high levels of crime and high levels of deprivation.
Licensing privately rented properties includes mandatory conditions to ensure good management of private properties, including:
- An up to date gas and electric safety certificate
- Safe condition of electrical appliances
- Fitted smoke detectors in a working condition
- Providing the tenant with a written tenancy agreement
- Demand a reference for prospective tenants
- The city council can also attach specific conditions to improve specific issues
What needs to be done?
Landlords need to complete an application form that is submitted to their local authority, in which they will need to provide evidence that they are “fit and proper” to lease the property. Information will need to be provided of the proposed management of the property, and financial agreements between are satisfactory before a license is granted.
If licence conditions are breached the local authority whom granted the licence can issue a fine of up to £5,000 for each offence in a Magistrates Court.
Landlords operating without a licence in designated area can receive an unlimited fine or a Fixed Penalty Notice of £30,000.
How much will a licence cost?
Selective License fees are set by the local authority and vary in different areas. These prices can be found on the authorities website. Additional charges may also be added by the authority based of the amount of bedrooms in the property.
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