Selective Licensing

The Selective Licensing consultation closed on the 26 January 2018. The council will now consider the responses to the consultation and issue a consultation report. In the meantime you can still contact the council with any queries via selectivelicensing@northlincs.gov.uk.

North Lincolnshire Council has a vision to make North Lincolnshire the best place to live, work, visit and invest. We want communities that are vibrant and prosperous where people live in safe and healthy housing. To help us achieve that, we want to encourage professional landlords, who own decent quality accommodation and manage it in a responsible way.

The private rented sector plays an important role in meeting local housing needs, however, poor housing management and low standards can lead to the failure of local housing markets. Selective licensing aims to address the impact of poor quality private sector rented housing, rogue landlords and anti-social tenants.

The council’s Cabinet team instructed the council to examine selective licensing in a cabinet report dated 18 July 2017 [PDF, 242Kb].

For further information, read the business case for selective licensing [PDF, 1Mb].

The Landlord Forum met on 28 September 2017. To see what was discussed, read the Landlord Forum Notes [PDF, 94Kb].

Under selective licensing all privately rented property within a designated boundary must be licensed by the council.

North Lincolnshire Council is considering introducing a selective licensing scheme in parts of the
Crosby and Park and Town Wards to tackle issues with anti-social behaviour, crime and migration. The council has powers to selectively license under the Housing Act (2004).

If selective licensing was implemented, landlords would have to ensure that their properties within the boundary meet licensing conditions. The conditions will be designed to address the above problems. The cost of the licence will be around £500 per property; however this covers a property for five years, equal to around £1.92 a week.

We are currently undertaking a consultation to seek the views of local residents, landlords, businesses and other individuals around the proposed scheme. Your views are important for us and will help shape how we can tackle issues with anti-social behaviour and crime in the area.

Selective licensing only covers residential properties which are privately rented within the boundary of the scheme. Other properties are not affected.

If you are a private landlord and let out residential property within the designated boundary of the scheme you will need to apply to the council for a licence for each property you let. You will also need to ensure your properties meet the standards of the licence.

This may include efforts taken that tenants in your properties are behaving responsibly. As the responsible individual, the landlord is accountable for correct and effective management of their property.

If you are a tenant in a privately rented property within the designated boundary of the scheme, you will not have to apply for the licence, however your landlord will expect you to oblige by the licence conditions which they have agreed to, for example, correct and proper use of waste and recycling bins.

How will licensing conditions help deal with anti-social behaviour (ASB)?

Landlords will need to ensure that their properties meet the conditions of the licence. The conditions include terms specifically intended to deal with ASB.

If only a proportion of landlords are rogue why are all landlords being targeted by selective licensing?

Only selective licensing can ensure that all private sector rented properties within an area are brought up to standard. As with all forms of licensing we must licence uniformly. Rather than reactively tackling rogue landlords, selective licensing proactively seeks them out via licensing inspections and can bring them to account. The current situation is untenable; despite intensive work by the council in the area improvements are short lived and not sustainable.

Why can’t rogue landlords be prosecuted using the council’s existing powers, why can’t you prosecute now?

Under selective licensing all private landlords letting property will require a licence for each property they let within the boundary of the scheme. Rogue landlords who do not seek to be licensed, as they have poor property, will be flagged up and prosecuted. An offence would be committed if a landlord did not licence their property or failed to maintain licensing conditions. This would make it easier for the council to successfully prosecute rogue landlords.

If you can’t find rogue landlords now, how will selective licensing help?

All properties privately let within the boundary of the proposed scheme must be licensed; to do this landlords must present themselves and their properties to the council. If a property being let in the boundary is not put forward for a licence enforcement action can be taken, ultimately resulting in prosecution if the landlord does not comply.

Why are landlords being held responsible for policing tenant’s social lives?

The landlord is the individual responsible for the management of the property. Landlords have responsibility that their business activity is not detrimental to the wider community and that they manage their properties effectively.

The Selective Licensing consultation closed on the 26 January 2018. The council will now consider the responses to the consultation and issue a consultation report. In the meantime you can still contact the council with any queries via selectivelicensing@northlincs.gov.uk.