Selective licensing is a location-based government provision that requires landlords in selected areas to hold licenses that enable them to legally rent their property. If your property is in an area that has implemented selective licensing then you’ll need to apply for a license.

The Housing Act 2004 gave individual councils the power to implement selective licensing. You can view the legislation in full here.

Each council will have their own scheme and it will be important to find out from the local authority that your property is located in what they have put in place. There is no directory of who is doing what and this means it will be important for you to check this detail yourself. 

Exemptions to selective licenses

  • Property owned, managed or controlled by a Housing authority
  • Property occupied by family members
  • Property subject to a prohibition order
  • Some halls of residence
  • Holiday homes
  • Buildings already regulated under statutory provisions
  • Certain tenancies associated with business premises, Licensing Act 2003 premises, agricultural land or agricultural holdings

Fines for not having a license

Landlords who don’t have the correct licence face fines of up to £20,000, whilst those failing to comply with the licence conditions can be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000.

An example of a selective licensing scheme

In Croydon landlords require a license, the license fee is £750 per property and a license will last for the duration of the scheme (until 30th September 2020). Landlords need to apply for a license per property.

You can apply for your license online and will need to supply the following:

  • Valid gas safety certificate
  • Full address and postcode of the property
  • Full contact details of license
  • Full contact details of the property owner
  • Full contact details of the property manager
  • Full details of mortgage provider
  • Details and dates of any legal actions or convictions against the licence holder and their associates
  • Details of the facilities within the property i.e. number of rooms and bathrooms
  • Details of the number of people living at the property at the time of application and the date the property was built

Once you have applied for your license you are free to rent your property. The council will check and verify your license application and you’ll be sent confirmation of approval.

The process will vary between local authorities and therefore it is imperative that you check to find out what the process is and how you apply for your license.

David Asker

David is an authorised High Court Enforcement Officer and our Director of Corporate Governance

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