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What is Selective Licensing?

What is selective licensing & does it affect your property?

In simple terms, selective licensing is a regime of conditions and requirements applied to properties in a specific area that is enforced by local authorities. This regime must be satisfied in order to be able to let out a property.

It is important to note that selective licensing does not apply to HMOs alone, it can and often does apply to single-let properties.

Why does selective licensing exist?

Selective licensing was introduced in 2006 so that local councils can increase the quality of the rented housing stock and have means to combat problems caused by:

  • Low housing demand (or risk of low demand)
  • Significant or persistent issues caused by anti-social behaviour
  • Poor housing conditions
  • High levels of migration
  • High levels of deprivation
  • High levels of crime

Selective licensing regimes are enforced by a local authority and can affect local residents, landlords, tenants, as well as property management companies, the exact area of a select licensing varies depending on the discretion of the local authority.



If landlords fail to comply with the selective licensing standards of their local authority, they could find themselves incurring a costly penalty fine.

To avoid facing a potential fine, be sure to contact the local authority and check whether your property requires licensing.

You can check whether a property requires selective licensing by contacting the local authority, if you are unsure, speak to us, we assist with all aspects of property management.

All individual dwellings within the boundaries of selective licensing must each be licensed separately, even if a freeholder (landlord) owns multiple properties in that same area.

Each local authority has their own specific conditions and requirements for licensing, but as a rule of thumb, the following mandatory conditions must be met:

  • Property has a valid gas safety certificate (CP12).
  • Electrical appliances and furniture supplied under the tenancy are in a safe condition.
  • Smoke alarms must be in proper working order and are situated accordingly.
  • Landlords must provide the tenant with a written statement of the terms of occupation.
  • Landlords must demand references from persons wishing to occupy the house.

Need assistance applying for licensing? We can help you navigate property licensing and subsequent property management, get in touch today

Want to learn more about property management? browse our other blog posts 

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