Selective Licensing

The Housing Act 2004 gives local councils the power to introduce Selective Licensing in its area, subject to specific government criteria being met and a legal process being followed.

Selective Licensing means that landlords with privately rented properties within a defined area need to apply for a licence in order to rent out each of their properties. Some properties are exempt from this and would not need a licence. These are:

  • holiday lets
  • business premises
  • socially let properties
  • student premises where the university is the landlord
  • premises where the tenant is a family member
  • any property where the landlord already holds an HMO licence

Selective Licensing schemes give councils greater powers to deal with problem landlords and to help improve the way private rented houses are managed, making sure that tenants can have safe and comfortable homes. In a Selective Licensing area, landlords would need to provide gas and electrical safety certificates, keep fire alarms in working order and ensure furniture at their property is safe.

Watch our video for an explanation of our proposals by Neil Evans, Director of Resources and Housing at Leeds City Council.


The Selective Licensing consultation has now closed.

What happens next?

We will gather the feedback and look at the available evidence before making a decision on whether to go ahead or not. No decision will be taken before then. If approved, it is likely that any Selective Licensing scheme would start in Autumn 2019.

Selective Licence fees

Following recent case law regarding the licence fee, this was originally proposed as a one off payment, however this will now have to be charged in two parts. One part on making the application and one part which will be payable only if the application is successful. This will mean we will need to review the fee structure if any scheme is subsequently approved.

Landlords who let a property without having a licence would be committing an offence, and could face an unlimited fine or a civil penalty of up to £30,000.

Contact us



0113 535 1369