Selective Licensing Schemes


Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 gives local authorities power to introduce a licensing scheme covering almost all PRS properties within a defined area. A Local Authority may designate either the whole area of their district or an area in their neighbourhood.

This guide is intended to provide you with the information you need to understand if your property requires a Selective Licence and what you are required to do with your property if this is the case.

What is Selective Licensing?

Selective Licensing was introduced in 2006 and was aimed at providing Local Authorities with greater powers to address perceived problems in the private rented sector. If licensing is in place in your area and it applies to your property, you must -

  • apply for the licence
  • pay the fees required for the application. If you are successful in your application, you must also pay the costs of administering the scheme.
  • comply with the conditions set out in the licence

A Local Authority can operate more than one scheme at a time. Each scheme lasts up to five years.

There are many Selective Licensing schemes currently being operated, and the fee for licences varies from council to council. The funds raised from Selective Licensing is ring fenced, so the Local Authority cannot fund other services.

A consultation must be carried out and the local community must be informed so they are aware of the proposals. If a proposed scheme covers more than 20% of the Private Rented Sector in the borough, the Secretary of State must give approval for the scheme to go ahead.

I have not been contacted about a selective licensing scheme in my area. If there is one do I have to apply?

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