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Selective Licensing

This section details the Government's selective licensing policy and provides links to guidance and the relevant Statutory Instruments relating to the implementation of selective licensing in England.

Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 gives local authorities the discretion to introduce selective licensing schemes to cover all privately rented property in areas which suffer, or are likely to suffer from, low housing demand and also to those that suffer from significant and persistent anti-social behaviour. Local authorities have the general consent to introduce such schemes.

Local authorities must demonstrate that their schemes fit in with their overall strategic approach to tackling problems in the local private rented sector. They are also required to conduct a full and comprehensive consultation with local landlords, managing agents, tenants, residents and businesses on their proposals prior to introducing a scheme.

Legislative background

The Statutory Instruments relating to the implementation of Selective Licensing in England under Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 came into force on 6 April 2006.

The following Statutory Instruments are available on the Office of Public Sector Information website:

The Housing (Interim Management Orders) (Prescribed Circumstances) (England) Order 2006 - SI 2006/369

SI 2006/369 is to allow Special interim management orders (SIMOs) to be made in circumstances similar to those which selective licensing is intended to address, but in this case to single privately rented properties.

The Explanatory Memorandum and Regulatory Impact Assessment are available at:

The Selective Licensing of Houses (Specified Exemptions) (England) Order 2006 - SI 2006/370

SI 2006/370 excludes certain tenancies in order to prevent excessive, unnecessary or conflicting regulation and to keep owner occupiers outside the scope of selective licensing.

The Explanatory Memorandum and Regulatory Impact Assessment are available at:

Key facts and figures

The following local authorities have introduced selective licensing schemes in their area:

  • Salford City Council
  • Middlesbrough Council
  • Manchester City Council
  • Gateshead Council
  • Sedgefield Borough Council
  • Burnley Council
  • Bolton Council
  • Blackburn Council
  • Leeds City Council
  • Easington Council
  • Hartlepool Council
  • London Borough of Newham

Information for landlords and tenants

To find out whether selective licensing applies in your area please contact your local authority.

Contact us

Communities and Local Government
Private Housing Management Conditions and Adaptations
1st Floor
Eland House
Bressenden Place

Telephone: 0303 444 0000

Key words: Selective licensing, Private rented property, Private landlord, Low housing demand, anti social behaviour

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