What is Selective Licensing?
In addition to the statutory powers local authorities have to deal with unsatisfactory property conditions, the regulation of private landlords through Selective Licensing is aimed at setting and improving standard tenancy management practices across the private rented sector.
Where is a licence required?
In July 2015 a five year licensing scheme, known as a designation, was introduced in thirteen streets of Hartlepool, which made it a legal requirement to obtain a licence from the Council for each privately rented residential property situated there.
Why have these streets been chosen?
After careful consideration of a substantial amount of evidence: showing the area was experiencing low demand and unacceptable levels of anti social behaviour, linked to poorly managed private sector residential tenancies, the Council approved the introduction of a scheme, to work alongside other initiatives aimed at tackling these issues.
Who needs a licence?
Until the scheme is due to end in July 2020 it is a legal requirement to obtain a licence for each relevant property situated within the designated area. Anyone who manages or controls such a property, where this requirement hasn’t been complied with, commits a criminal offence: which upon summary conviction can result in an unlimited fine. However, a licence isn't required where:
- the property is rented out by a registered provider of social housing any of the statutory exemptions apply or;
- a management order is in force or;
- a property is a House in Multiple Occupation (HMO) which is required to be licensed under Part 2 of the Act or;
- the property is occupied by the owner or;
- a temporary exemption notice (TEN) is in force or;
- the property is unoccupied
All licence applications must be made to the Council online, via the GOV.UK website, through the following links:
Apply to renew an existing licence IMPORTANT: This type of application can only be made BEFORE the current licence expires and where the existing licensee wishes to continue to hold the licence. We advise applicants to read the Licence Replacement Information before proceeding with this type of application.
There is a fee to pay for both types of application and we recommend ALL applicants to read the following guidance PRIOR to making their application:
How does licensing work?
Where a licence application is made to us it does not necessarily mean a licence will be granted and/or that it will be granted to the person who has applied, as there are several deciding factors which we must consider before making a decision. This includes amongst other things whether:
- the proposed licence holder and/or manager are ‘fit and proper’
- the applicant is the most appropriate person to hold the licence
- the management arrangements for the property are satisfactory.
We anticipate that in most cases the licensing process will be straight forward and a licence will be granted however, where there are relevant issues we always aim to provide assistance and guidance to landlords to enable a satisfactory outcome to be reached.
Where we grant a licence the legislation requires that certain mandatory conditions must be imposed and where the Council consider it appropriate for regulating the management, use or occupation of the property, additional conditions may also be attached.
Each licence is closely monitored by us and where any potential breach of the conditions is identified this is enforced in accordance with our Housing Services Enforcement Policy: which may result in criminal proceedings against the licence holder.
We offer advice and guidance to landlords and managers both during the licence application process and throughout the duration of the scheme in order to assist them to comply with all aspects of the scheme:
Please contact us via the details below if you require any further information.