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Selective licensing

Selective licensing is a discretionary scheme and covers privately rented properties which are not covered by mandatory or additional licensing.  

The Housing Act 2004 allows local housing authorities to designate areas for Selective Licensing to support the improvement of privately rented properties, providing certain conditions are met.  

The power does not permit local housing authorities to require licensing of houses that have been exempted under the Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified exemptions) (England) Order 2006, or a property that is subject to a tenancy or licence granted by a body which is registered as a social landlord under Part 1 of the Housing Act 1996. 

A selective licensing scheme means that, other than very limited exceptions, all privately rented properties are required to be licensed.

Current schemes

Public notice

Future schemes

A 10-week consultation has taken place on proposals to introduce a selective licensing scheme in the central area of Blackpool covering eight key wards:

  • Bloomfield
  • Brunswick
  • Claremont
  • Talbot
  • Tyldesley
  • Warbreck
  • Waterloo
  • Victoria

The scheme covers approximately 11,000 privately rented properties.

Licence conditions include ensuring the property is safe and that all safety certificates can be provided including fire safety. Landlords must be able to demonstrate that they have adequate procedures in place to manage any anti-social behaviour from their tenants and they are aware of their tenants’ rights.

The consutlation feedback resulted in 61.2% of tenants agreeing with the proposal, as did 18.8% of landlords.

As a result of the feedback, two amendments have been to the proposed licence conditions in relation to fire safety compliance and fire risk assessment have been made:

  • Licence condition 18: Fire safety compliance - Three responses suggested this condition should not apply to single dwelling houses and is already covered under national fire regulations. As a result it is recommended to reword this condition to read, ‘The house complies with current British fire regulation and is aware of the current version of the local authorities coordinators of regulatory services (“LACORS”) fire safety guidance LACORs which should be used for reference’ 
  • Licence Condition 19: Fire risk assessment - Two responses suggested that existing legal requirements and proposed licensing conditions in respect to condition of property, gas and electrical safety and smoke and CO alarm provision already provide a necessary level of protection. As a result it is recommended that this licence condition is removed

Selective licensing schemes are designed to be self-financing. No profit is generated for the council as a result of these schemes. The fees go back into running the scheme and supporting landlords as much as possible.

Significant discounts will be available for those applying early and for landlords meeting additional standards.

The scheme has now been submitted for Secretary of State approval.