What it is and how it may affect you
The 2004 Housing Act gives local councils the power to request that landlords obtain a license for properties owned or managed in specified areas. The goal is to improve the living conditions and the community that tenants are living in. This license is in addition to and not to be confused with any HMO licensing that may already apply.
Areas are designated for selective licensing either:-
1) If the area is (or likely to be) an area of low housing demand.
2) The area is experiencing problems with anti-social behaviour and all or some of the landlords are not taking appropriate steps to deal with the problem.
If you have properties within a specified Selective Licensing zone you would be required to obtain a license. The licensee is often the property owner but it may be more appropriate for it to be the managing agent and if this is the case then this can be arranged.
For a landlord to be granted a license certain conditions and standards must be met. If the requirements are not met the landlord could face prosecution and/or a management order could be issued which could transfer responsibility for managing the property to the council.
It is a criminal offence for a landlord to let a property in the specified area without having a license. If convicted the landlord could face a £20,000 fine.
Some properties are exempt from needing a license. These include:-
- Properties controlled or under the managing of the Local Housing Authority or registered Social Landlords.
- Buildings that fall under other legislative regulations.
- Properties used as holiday lets.
- Property with a tenant under a long term lease.
- Business tenancies or those in which the council has taken steps to close the property.
- Private homes occupied by family members of the owner.
Follow the link below to find out where in the country selective licensing applies