Selective licensing scheme - Hollins Bank

Consultation on the introduction of a selective licensing scheme in the Hollins Bank area

We have a large and growing private rented sector (PRS), with around 54,776 (38.1%) properties currently privately rented. 

We want to re-introduce and extend selective licensing in the Hollins Bank area of the Borough. 

We want all our landlords to take part, to improve property conditions and standards of management in the private rented sector.

Selective licensing helps us to do this without any extra burden on council taxpayers.

We want to know what you think

We are running a consultation from 7 May to 26 July 2024 to get your views on the selective licensing proposal.

Before you fill the survey in, you can read the information on this page, which gives an outline of how selective licensing works. Alternatively, you can read the full selective licensing consultation document.

Selective licensing consultation

What is selective licensing?

The Housing Act 2004 gives us the power to introduce selective licensing for all privately rented properties in a given area. 

It’s a way of helping us to make sure that locally privately rented properties in designated areas meet the standards set out in the licensing framework (Selective licensing in the private rented sector: a guide for local authorities - GOV.UK)

A selective licensing scheme allows us to visit and inspect properties on a proactive basis. This means we don't have to wait until there is a problem or service request or complaint.

Licences set out conditions relating to the use and management of a property. These conditions help us to:

  • regulate the private rented sector better
  • improve housing conditions
  • promote better standards of management

They include requirements relating to:

  • maximum occupation
  • gas, electrical and fire safety
  • pest control
  • refuse and recycling management
  • energy efficiency

If a landlord fails to get a licence, or breaches the condition of the licence, we can take enforcement action against them.

Who has to have a licence?

Any landlord who rents a property that is under a selective licensing scheme has to have a licence if they rent a property to:

  • a single household, for example, a family
  • two unrelated people sharing a property, for example, two friends living together

A landlord has to have a licence for each individual property.

The selective licensing scheme will operate for five years. During this time, we will continue to review conditions in the private rented sector. This will help us decide whether the licensing scheme should finish at the end of the five years or whether we need to introduce a new licensing scheme.

Benefits of selective licensing

The benefits of licensing privately rented homes include:

  • creating a clear set of rules that all landlords must follow
  • making sure that private landlords manage and maintain their properties to a reasonable standard
  • encouraging those landlords who are inexperienced or live outside of the area to use reputable managing agents
  • responsible landlords getting information and support to help tackle antisocial behaviour
  • poor performing landlords getting support and training to help them improve
  • improving the image of the licensed areas so people want to live there
  • helping landlords to protect their investment in their property, leading to an increase in the value of their property
  • improvement in the reputation of private landlords
  • greater ability for the landlord and us to deal with rogue tenants
  • a reduction in crime, anti-social behaviour and other environmental problems like graffiti, litter and fly- tipping
  • shorter void periods
  • reduced number of empty properties
  • reduced risk of homelessness and increased length of stay
  • landlords who voluntarily engage with a recognised accreditation scheme can benefit from a reduced licensing fee
  • ‘rogue landlords’ are prevented from letting substandard accommodation at lower rents
  • tenants are reassured that licensed landlords are providing decent quality housing managed to a reasonable standard

What streets are in the proposed licensing area?

The Hollins Bank licensing area covers 1,266 properties on these streets:

A

  • Abbotsford Avenue - BB2 3LZ
  • Abraham Street - BB2 3SQ
  • Albert Street - BB2 4BL
  • Andrew’s Walk - BB2 3LE
  • Angela Street - BB2 4DJ
  • Aqueduct Road - BB2 4BE

B

  • Bankside - BB2 3TB
  • Bedford Street - BB2 4EU
  • Bonsall Street - BB2 4DB
  • Brindle Street - BB2 4DZ
  • Bryan Street - BB2 3PH

C

  • Canal Street – BB2 4DL
  • Cave Street 
  • Chadwick Street - BB2 4AA
  • Charles Street - BB2 4AX
  • Charnley Street – BB2 4BJ
  • Coldstream Place - BB2 3AU
  • Cranbrook Street – BB2 4AT

D

  • Dyson Street - BB2 3RZ

E

  • Elim Place - BB2 4HB
  • Elim Gardens - BB2 4HG
  • Exeter Street - BB2 4AU

F

  • Field Street - BB2 4DN
  • Francis Street - BB2 4DP
  • Fred Pickering Place - BB2 4WB

G

  • Goit Street – BB2 4BL
  • Grafton Street - BB2 4AS
  • Grantham Street - BB2 4BZ
  • Green Park Close - BB2 4EE

H

  • Hall Street - BB2 3RH
  • Hamilton Street - BB2 4BD
  • Herbert Street - BB2 4AP
  • Herschell Street - BB2 4DQ
  • Hertford Street - BB2 4EX
  • Hollin Bridge Street – B6447 - BB2 4AZ
  • Hollin Street - BB2 4AW

I

  • Infirmary Close - BB2 3LT
  • Infirmary Road - BB2 3JF
  • Infirmary Street - BB2 3RN
  • Isherwood Street - BB2 4HP
  • Ivy Close - BB2 3SW
  • Ivy Street - BB2 3RR

K

  • Kelly Street - BB2 4PJ
  • Kirby Road - BB2 4HW

L

  • Leach Street - BB2 3SE
  • Lockside - BB2 3TA
  • Longshaw Street - BB2 4HS
  • Lower Hollin Bank Street - BB2 4AD
  • Lyndhurst Road - BB2 3PA
  • Lynthorpe Road - BB2 3PB

M

  • Marlton Road - BB2 3LX
  • Matthew Street - BB2 4DR
  • Meta Street - BB2 3PQ
  • Mill Hill - BB2 4EP
  • Moorgate Street - BB2 4EZ
  • Mosley Street - BB2 3ST
  • Mosley Walk - BB2 3RJ

N

  • New Chapel Street - BB2 4DT
  • New Wellington Close - BB2 4HJ
  • New Wellington Gardens - BB2 4HE
  • New Wellington Mews - BB2 4GX
  • New Wellington Street - BB2 4WD
  • Norfolk Street - BB2 4EW
  • Norwood Avenue - BB2 3PE

P

  • Park Lee Road - BB2 3NZ
  • Parkinson Street - BB2 4ET
  • Percy Street - BB2 4DE
  • Pritchard Street - BB2 3PF

Q

  • Queen's Terrace

R

  • Ramsey Road - BB2 3LY
  • Rockcliffe Street - BB2 3AR
  • Royal Close - BB2 3LJ
  • Royal Walk - BB2 3LL

S

  • Shorrock Lane - BB2 4DA
  • Southworth Street - BB2 3PD
  • Speedwell Street  - BB2 2RU
  • Spring Bank Close - BB2 4GT
  • Spring Bank Court - BB2 4GU
  • Spring Bank Terrace - BB2 4BH
  • St. Aidan’s Avenue - BB2 4BQ
  • St. Aidan’s Close - BB2 4EN
  • St. George’s Avenue - BB2 4DH
  • St. James’ Street - BB2 4HD
  • Stakes Hall Place - BB2 4UX
  • Stanley Range - BB2 4DF
  • Stephen Street - BB2 4DW
  • Stirling Street - BB2 4DG
  • Suffolk Street - BB2 4ES
  • Sunny Bank Road - BB2 3NE/BB2 3ND

V

  • Vale Street - BB2 3SH

W

  • Walsh Street - BB2 3RY
  • Warwick Close - BB2 3SY
  • Warwick Road - BB2 3RL
  • Whitaker Drive - BB2 3LN
  • Wilson Street - BB2 4AR
  • Wolseley Street - BB2 4HR
  • Woodbury Avenue - BB2 3NB

Z

  • Zebudah Street - BB2 4EP

The standards landlords have to meet to get a licence

Landlords need to show that they are ‘fit and proper’ and have no criminal convictions which may affect their management of the property. They need to:

  • have satisfactory management and financial arrangements - for example, making sure the property is safe to live in and that the tenant has a written tenancy agreement
  • have adequate procedures in place for dealing with problem tenants
  • provide annual gas safety records
  • adhere to a number of conditions

What is a "fit and proper person"?

When we are deciding if someone is a " fit and proper person" we look at things like: 

  • any previous convictions relating to violence, sexual offences, drugs, and fraud
  • whether the proposed licence holder has broken any laws relating to housing or landlord and tenant issues
  • whether the person has been found guilty of unlawful discrimination
  • whether the person has a ‘banning order’ in force under section 16 of the Housing and Planning Act 2016
  • if everyone involved in the management of the property has a sufficient level of competence to be involved
  • whether the person has any association with anyone else not considered fit and proper, and where this would affect the management of a licensed property
  • whether the proposed licence holder can show that there are satisfactory management and financial arrangements in place

What happens if a landlord doesn’t get a licence?

There are strict penalties for landlords who don’t get a licence. They can be prosecuted and face unlimited fines if they are convicted. They might also have to pay back up to 12 months’ rent or housing benefit payments by a Rent Repayment Order (RRO).

Without a licence, they can’t serve notice on a tenant to quit (section 21 notice) or seek possession of their property until they have a licence.

We can also impose fines on them of up to £30,000. 

What happens if a landlord breaches the licence conditions?

If a landlord has a licence, but breaches its conditions, there could be enforcement action and an unlimited fine for each breach. 

We could also impose a fine of up to £30,000. 

If there is a serious breach of conditions, we could revoke the licence. 

Refusing a licence

We can refuse a licence if the licence holder:

  • does not meet the fit and proper person criteria, or
  • cannot show they have adequate management arrangements in place

If we are unable to grant a licence, we can apply to issue an Interim Management Order (IMO). If this is issued, it allows us to step in and manage the property. The owner keeps their rights as an owner. This order can last up to a year until suitable permanent management arrangements are made. If the IMO expires and there has been no improvement, we can apply for a Final Management Order. If granted, this can last up to five years and can be renewed.

Exemptions from selective licensing

The following properties or circumstances do not need a licence:

  • owners who live in property they own as their main residence (owner-occupiers)
  • homes let to tenants of registered housing providers (housing associations) Registered social landlords (housing associations) tenancies are exempt from licensing. However, you should check this with the property licensing team, as it depends on the type of arrangement in place
  • places specifically excluded from the legislation such as care homes
  • student accommodation directly managed by educational institutions, for example, halls of residence. This does not include students who have tenancies with private landlords 
  • HMOs that require licensing through our Mandatory HMO licensing scheme
  • homes subject to management orders and exemption notices
  • households that act as host families for foreign students studying for a short period
  • homes with lodgers 

Selective licence fees

The proposed fee is £724 per licence. You do not have to pay VAT. The licence lasts for five years or for the length of time of the re-designation. Different rates apply in the case of a House in Multiple Occupation.

Landlords can spread payments out to reduce the initial outlay. This should reduce the burden on landlords and will illustrate to them that the fee is only for running the scheme.

The scheme has been designed to be cost neutral as required by the Housing Act 2004. The fees have been calculated based on a non-profit, full cost recovery model. They include all set up, administration and enforcement costs. 

Fees collected offset the cost of additional staff, resources, administration, and enforcement of the scheme. They will not be used to subsidise other council work.