Guidance

Selective licensing in the private rented sector: a guide for local authorities

Guidance explaining the criteria for making a selective licensing scheme.

Documents

Selective licensing in the private rented sector: a guide for local authorities

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The Housing Act 2004: Licensing of Houses in Multiple Occupation and Selective Licensing of Other Residential Accomodation (England) General Approval 2015

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Detail

This guidance explains the criteria for making a selective licensing scheme and discusses the types of evidence that local authorities will require to support an application.

It sets out what a local authority would expect a scheme to deliver in terms of the economic and social conditions of the designated area, and how this will be evaluated. It also explains the processes that need to be complied with before a designation can be brought into force.

This guidance applies to designation made under the General Approval 2015 as well as those which require confirmation by the Secretary of State.

Under the Housing Act 2004, local authorities currently have powers to introduce selective licensing of privately rented homes to address problems in their area, or any part of them, caused by low housing demand and/or significant anti-social behaviour.

With effect from 1 April, a new General Approval will come into force. Local authorities will be required to obtain confirmation from the Secretary of State for any selective licensing scheme which would cover more than 20% of their geographical area or would affect more than 20% of privately rented homes in the local authority area.

Additional criteria for making a scheme are also now in force. A designation may be made to combat problems in an area experiencing poor property conditions, an influx of migration, a high level of deprivation or high levels of crime.