Selective licensing

Information about what selective licensing is, its benefits and how to apply for a licence

What is selective licensing?

Selective Licensing means that private rented properties must have a licence if they are in an area/neighbourhood with poor housing conditions, high levels of crime, deprivation, anti-social behaviour, low housing demand and an influx of migration.

Its aim is to have a positive impact on the area and improve the management of said properties.

South Bank was designated for Selective Licensing in 2018. 

The designation will have effect until 24 March 2024 unless it is revoked by the Council before then.

Private landlords who own properties in the South Bank area or any person that controls or manages property in the area are required to apply for a licence for each of their occupied properties.

Each licence incurs a fee and presents conditions to be met. Please view the below for more information.

If the licence conditions are not met, the licence holder may be charged with an unlimited fine per breach.

You can now submit your Selective Licensing application form online.

Benefits of selective licensing

After evaluating the South Bank 2013-2018 licensing scheme, the following improvements were noticed:

  • There has been a 29% reduction in the number of empty properties
  • A reduction of 7.3% in anti-social behaviour has been seen in the scheme area over the last 5 years. In addition, the number of criminal offences fell by 36.5%, with criminal damage falling by 52.4%. There was also a reduction in the number of deliberate fire setting incidents
  • The scheme has helped to improve the condition of the properties. Over half of the house hazards identified have been resolved without the need for any formal intervention
  • The improved communication with landlords has led to complaints being resolved quicker and allowed for anti-social behaviour issues to be dealt with more effectively
  • The value of houses in the selective licensing area increased by 7.2% over the scheme lifetime

Exempted tenancies from licensing

Some tenancies don't need to be licensed, for example those under a long lease, business tenancies, and those managed by registered providers.

The impact on tenants

If you are a tenant in a selective licensing area, this would make sure your landlord is managing and maintaining your home, so that it is kept in a good state of repair.

They will also have to carry out tenant vetting, issue valid tenancy agreements and secure deposits in one of the government's nominated schemes.

You can check if your landlord has applied for a licence by contacting us.

If you believe your landlord is not maintaining your property or is treating you unfairly, please call us at 01287 612455. 

For more information and guidance, please email the selective licensing team with your contact details.

My neighbours act anti-socially. Can selective licensing help?

Landlords are expected to work with the local authority and police to deal with anti-social tenants in an appropriate way. This may include eviction, if tenants continue to act anti-socially and cause a nuisance in the area. If you have concerns related to anti social behaviour please contact the Housing Standards Team.

How can I find out if my landlord has applied for a licence?

Once the council has received an application for a licence, the information will be entered onto a public register which would be accessed via the council.

What will happen if my landlord does not apply for a licence?

It will be a criminal offence to operate without a licence. On conviction a landlord could be fined which is unlimited. In addition there is a provision under section 96 of the Housing Act 2004 for a Rent Repayment Order to be made to recover all rent paid to an unlicensed property.